MSc Final Oral Examination: Andy (Yi) Chen


Interested Members of the University Community are invited to attend the Final Oral Examination for the Degree of Master of Science of  Andy(Yi) Chen of the Department of Plant Agriculture.

Date: Monday, May 13, 2019
Time: 1:00 pm
Location: Room 202, Crop Sciences Building 

Thesis Title: Breeding for Winter-Hardiness in Winter Wheat (Triticum aestivum 

Advisory Committee:
Dr. Ali Navabi, Advisor
Dr. Istvan Rajcan, Advisor
Dr. Steven Rothstein
Dr. Bill Deen

Examination Committee:
Dr. Max Jones, Chair
Dr. Istvan Rajcan
Dr. Steven Rothstein
Dr. Milad Eskandari


Due to risk of winterkill, winter survival is an essential trait for winter wheat cultivars that are grown in the high-latitude growing regions such as Canada. High-throughput phenotyping tools have been used to phenotype various traits such as flowering time, yield and height for different plant species. This research demonstrates the development of image-based phenotyping tools for winter survival that have the potential to be applied in large breeding programs. This research compares winter survival data generated via visual estimation and image-based methods and identified potential problem for image-based phenotyping. In addition, this study uses the image-based phenotyping tools to phenotype a winter wheat diversity panel that has 450 cultivars. Genome-wide association study resulted in nine quantitative trait loci (QTL) that are associated with winter survival including well known freezing tolerance loci such as Frost-resistance 1 and 2. This study applies recently released annotated sequence of wheat and the readily available RNA-seq data to identify putative candidate genes for these QTL. Lastly, this study characterizes the diversity panel for variation in genes that have been shown in previous study to influence winter survival including CBF-A12 and CBF-A15. This study has identified the optimal allele combination for winter survival in Eastern Canada to be having Fr-A2-T haplotype with three copies of Vrn-A1.