Oklahoma State University

Contact Info

Brett Carver
Wheat Breeding and Genetics
468 Ag Hall

Oklahoma State University
Stillwater, OK, 74078

Phone: (405)-744-9580
FAX (405) 744-5269





Wheat Improvement Team - Welcome

WIT Group 2016


Wheat Improvement Team

Liuling Yan

Plant and Soil Sciences, Wheat Molecular Genetics

Carol Powers

Plant and Soil Sciences, Genotyping Support

Charles Chen

Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Genomic Selection

Gopal Kakani

Plant and Soil Sciences, High-throughput Phenotyping

Brett Carver

Plant and Soil Sciences, Wheat Breeding and Genetics

David Marburger

Plant and Soil Sciences, Wheat Extension and Systems Research

Bob Hunger

Entomology and Plant Pathology, Wheat Pathology

Ali Zarrabi

Entomology and Plant Pathology, Aphid Resistance

Kris Giles

Entomology and Plant Pathology, Aphid and Hessian Fly Resistance

Xiangyang Xu

USDA-ARS, Stillwater, OK, Aphid Resistance and Germplasm Introgression

Brian Arnall

Plant and Soil Sciences, Nutrient-use Efficiency


Wheat Improvement research in Oklahoma is driven by an interdisciplinary team of scientists housed in OSU's Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, charged with developing highly-adapted winter wheat cultivars with marketable grain-quality.  This team is committed to strengthening the Oklahoma wheat industry by enhancing its genetic resources, a mission that could not be accomplished without contributions from other state, federal, and private researchers.

Agronomic research goals emphasize improving protection against 14 or more fungal or viral diseases and four insect species, tolerance to drought and low-pH, Al-toxic soils, and manipulation of developmental factors which influence arrival time at specific growth stages. Emphasis on grain quality has traditionally focused on physical kernel characteristics and breadmaking quality, but the arrival of hard white wheat to the southern Great Plains has turned our attention to a new set of traits, such as kernel color, pre-harvest sprout tolerance, and tortilla quality. Parts of the GrazenGrainTM breeding system were implemented beginning in 1997, but by 2004, more than 80% of the OSU breeding populations were subjected to this system.

GrazenGrainTM designates an OSU wheat variety developed under a designed breeding system that imparts selection pressure for adaptation to early-planted, stocker-cattle grazed systems. This adaptation generally leads to higher grain production following the grazing period. Most varieties released by the Oklahoma Agricultural Experiment Station since 2004 will carry this distinction and are available for licensing, primarily through Oklahoma Genetics, Inc.


Program support is administered by the Oklahoma Agricultural Experiment Station (OAES) through the Department of Plant and Soil Sciences.  Funding is derived from a partnership between the OAES, the Oklahoma Wheat Commission, and the Oklahoma Wheat Research Foundation.  This partnership ensures linkage of the Wheat Improvement Program to the collective needs of Oklahoma's wheat industry. Scientists located at the USDA-ARS Plant Science and Water Conservation Research Laboratory conduct genetic investigations critical to the program.


Program direction is provided by the OSU Wheat Genetics Chair, currently occupied by Brett F. Carver.  The original occupant of the Chair was Edward L. Smith, from 1989 to 1997.


This web site is intended for the use of all shareholders in the Oklahoma wheat continuum, from seed producer to end-user, from ag consultant to media representative.

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