Introgression and wide hybrid genetics, genomics and germplasm development in Lolium/Festuca (Festulolium) and white clover

View graph of relations
Participants Organisations


  • Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council: £9,200,548.00

Funder Project Reference(s)

Effective start/end date01 Apr 201231 Mar 2017


This research builds on and exploits the considerable genetic and genomic platforms that have been developed at IBERS for the Lolium/Festuca introgression system and Trifolium spp. interspecific hybrids. It encompasses both detailed genetic, genomic and phenomic calibrations and targeted germplasm development addressing key breeding objectives established in consultation with the commercial sector. The work focuses on Lolium/Festuca and Trifolium introgression genomics and phenomics, exploiting wide hybridisation and inter-genomic recombination to generate novel genotypes and phenotypes. Specifically, this research involves the identification and crossing of experimental genotypes in order to define regions of the genome that confer potentially useful characteristics. By developing associated molecular and phenotypic calibrations, it is then possible to use these experimental genotypes as core populations for the transfer of target traits into new grass and clover varieties. Particular target traits are root growth, persistency, nitrogen, phosphorus and water use efficiency and cold and drought tolerance.