Genome wide association studies for breeding Macrocystis pyrifera

Award Period
Award Amount
Agency Name
University Of Wisconsin
Award Number
PI First Name
PI Last Name
Robert Miller
MSI People
Area/s of Research
Ecology and Evolution

UCSB investigators Reed and Miller are collaborating with scientists from the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, the University of Southern California and the J. Craig Venter Institute on a proposal to the Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy (ARPA-E) that aims to develop a state of the art genomics selection breeding program for the giant kelp Macrocystis pyrifera for potential use in offshore ocean farming of giant kelp for biofuel production. Reed and Miller will be responsible for the field component of this project, which includes: (1) collecting reproductive tissue from natural populations of giant kelp throughout southern California for purposes of establishing genetically distinct gametophyte strains used for selective breeding of sporophyte cultivars, (2) designing, installing and maintaining an ocean farm system at Catalina Island for growing selected sporophyte cultivars, (3) outplanting small sporophyte cultivars reared in the laboratory to the ocean farm and maintaining them throughout the 5-month growing season, and (4) measuring phenotypic traits of the farm raised sporophyte cultivars during and at the end of the growing period.