Professor Keith Edwards
Professor Keith Edwards specialises in developing molecular markers for wheat breeding. His research focuses on exploiting genomics based technologies to identify, map, isolate, manipulate and express different alleles controlling traits of importance for improved performance, in wheat.
Edwards’ team has worked with genotyping companies LGC and Affymetrix to develop a package of validated markers and high-throughput genotyping platforms. This innovation reduces the costs involved in bringing new wheat varieties to market and speeds up the introduction of improved varieties. As an example one wheat breeder was able to use molecular markers to automate their genotyping process, reducing costs and increasing throughput ten-fold.
He is now leading a major long-term study to increase the efficiency of wheat-breeding. The Bristol-led project, aims to improve breeders’ ability to generate high-yielding varieties of wheat able to withstand climate change. The consortium, which includes academics from Cambridge, Birmingham, Leicester and the John Innes Institute as well as wheat breeders from RAGT and KWS, will use a range of advanced molecular techniques to create new ways to breed elite lines of wheat.