Quantitative Genetics

Group Leader: [link]Prof. Dr. Jochen C. Reif


Research Interest

The Quantitative Genetics research group is interested in devising and evaluating ‘omics’-based breeding strategies to boost selection gain in (pre)breeding programs. Our model crop is wheat, but research activities also encompass barley, rice, soybean, maize, rye, and canola. With our work we contribute to the IPK research theme FSP1 “Strategies for the valorization of plant genetic resources”.


Redesigning the exploitation of wheat genetic resources

More than half a million wheat genetic resources are resting in gene banks worldwide. Unlocking their hidden favorable genetic diversity for breeding is pivotal for enhancing grain yield potential. We are devising and evaluating novel ‘omics’-based pre-breeding strategies leveraging the valorization of wheat genetic resources.


Boosting yield and yield stability by initiating hybrid breeding in selfing species

Selfing species are often bred as pure-line varieties with stagnating yield growths. In contrast, selection gain in outcrossing species such as maize is high. We make use of the ‚omics‘-data revolution in order to embark on hybrid breeding programs in selfing species by elaborating strategies to establish, improve, and broaden heterotic groups and pattern.


Expanding the toolbox of statistical genomics

Genomic-assisted crop improvement is a promising approach to enhance the selection gain per unit time. We expand the quantitative genetic toolbox to dissect the genetic architecture and predict complex traits considering additive, dominance, and epistatic effects. The tools are validated using simulated and experimental data of different crops.