Pulse breeder joins NDSU

Pulse breeder joins NDSU

Nonoy Bandillo has joined the NDSU Department of Plant Sciences as an assistant professor and director of the pulse breeding and genetics program.

Prior to joining NDSU, Bandillo was a research assistant professor at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in soybean breeding and quantitative genetics, and a postdoctoral research associate and visiting scientist at the Buckler Lab at Cornell University in maize and sorghum quantitative genetics. He began his career as an assistant scientist in rice breeding and genetics at the International Rice Research Institute, where he was part of a team that pioneered the development of Multi-parent Advanced Generation Inter-Cross populations in rice.

Bandillo earned his doctorate at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, where he worked with well-known academic soybean breeders and geneticists Aaron Lorenz, George Graef and James Specht. His graduate training involved the optimization and integration of genomic selection technology on the varietal development side of soybean breeding and tapping of diversity in the USDA Soybean Collection.

One of Bandillo’s goals for the NDSU pulse breeding and genetics program is to genotype the pulse breeding progenies with inexpensive, high-density DNA markers and then evaluate that information for making selection decisions. He said, “Selection is the fundamental basis of plant breeding. Plant breeders have successfully used conventional breeding to select and develop new and better varieties. The entire breeding process involves considerable time of costly field evaluation to estimate the true genetic value of a potential cultivar. Making this process faster and more efficient is a perennial challenge for plant breeders.”

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