Breeding scheme optimization

Webinar: Enhancing and measuring Genetic Gain in crop breeding

Driving Genetic Gain through selection is at the core of every successful plant breeding program. In this webinar targeting national breeding programs in Africa, EiB will explain the concepts behind genetic gain; introduce tools and approaches to measure genetic gain; provide real examples from a national program in East Africa.

Organized by: CGIAR Excellence in Breeding (EiB), Accelerating Genetic Gains (AGG), along with partners MAIZE, CIMMYT and more

Powerpoint slides (PDF links):

EiB breeding scheme optimization manuals

In order to deliver higher rates of genetic gain and variety turnover, breeding programs targeting low- to middle-income countries must adopt standard best practices in breeding scheme design in order to enable a continuous process of optimization to deliver on breeding targets (product profiles).

The CGIAR Excellence in Breeding Platform has developed this series of practical and conceptual manuals to set a common terminology and conceptual framework to visualize the main steps in a breeding process. 

Identification key for agriculturally important plant-parasitic nematodes: a manual for nematology

Nematodes are diverse metazoans with an estimated one million species covering nearly all ecosystems in their roles as bacterivores, herbivores, parasites of animals and plants, and consumers of dissolved as well as particulate organic matter.

Their economic impact was estimated at a loss of $118 billion in 2001, half of that in rice and maize alone. Accuracy of species identification is therefore fundamental to our understanding and communication of the ecological role of any organism.

Linear selection indices in modern plant breeding

This book represents a compilation of work done in the area of “selection indices” in animal and plant breeding.

Selection indices were originally developed by Smith (1936) in plant breeding and by Hazel (1943) in animal breeding to address the selection of plants or animals scored for multiple traits.

In agriculture, the breeding worth (or net genetic merit) of a candidate for selection depends on several traits. For example, grain yield, disease resistance, and flowering time.

Sarah Hearne


Sarah Hearne
Sarah Hearne’s work focuses on the interface between genetic resources and plant breeding and in the adaptation/development and use of tools to enhance the identification and transfer of useful native genetic variation from exotic germplasm to breeding germplasm. She leads the maize and informatics work of the Seeds of Discovery (SeeD) initiative at the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Centre (CIMMYT). Hearne is presently a Principal Scientist at CIMMYT. Previously, she was a Plant Molecular Geneticist/Physiologist at the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA). Hearne holds a doctoral degree on morphological, physiological and molecular interactions between maize and the parasitic angiosperm Striga hermonthica from the University of Sheffield – U.K.

Job title: 
Toolbox coordinator