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Analysis of Augmented Block Design Using R Part 1: An Introduction to an Augmented Design Approach in Plant Breeding

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The Experiment

Similar to our eLessons series, Correlation Using the R Statistical Package, let us first understand the experiment, specifically the general scope of the problem and what the domain scientist would like to find.  In this Augmented Design case, the domain scientist is Jayfred Godoy, a Washington State University graduate student in plant breeding who is working with his advisor, Dr. Mike Pumphrey.  Their overall goal is to map genetic regions that are associated with heat tolerance in spring wheat.  They are looking into the possibility of using canopy spectral reflectance (CSR) to screen their wheat plants and find those with good heat tolerance.  

Field view of Jayfred's Heat Tolerance Study.  This field of plots is found in Washington State, US.  

CropScan Instrument used to take Canopy Spectral Reflectance (CSR)  

Before reaching that goal, they needed to first establish an experiment and measure the phenotypic performance of their mapping population. So in their wheat breeding program, they wanted to see how traits of individual wheat lines vary in their levels of heat tolerance in a field environment.  
  • In the image above on the left, you can see different wheat genotypes which are tolerant of heat by their darker green color.  
  • The image above on the right is an example of an instrument that measures Canopy Spectral Reflectance (CSR).  Jayfred used this instrument called "CropScan" which is a handheld spectral radiometer. You may see Sarah's talk at minute 4:21 from the Correlation Using the R Statistical Package eLesson Series for more information on CSR.

Presentation on the experiment: Understanding the effects of water stress on winter wheat in Colorado


Question : Which Objective from this spring wheat experiment will be the focus of this eLesson?

 Comparing reflectance indices across different dates for the early planted population.
 Compare traits among genotypes and checks for the early planted population.
 Correlating reflectance indices with traits for both the early and late plantings.
 Determining the tolerance to water stress in the Entry based upon yield in various treatments.





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