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Welcome to BreedingGames

Pilots have flight simulators and MBA students have simulation games that mimic different business scenarios, but plant breeders have not had computer games that would help train them in making breeding decisions. In BreedingGames, players make breeding decisions as they try to develop a barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) cultivar that meets certain standards for three traits that show unfavorable correlations: grain yield, protein concentration, and Fusarium head blight resistance (the traits will vary for the actual competition). Each player or team needs to decide which parents to cross, how many crosses to make, how many progeny to create in each cross, when and how to use molecular markers in selection, how many locations to use in phenotyping, and which specific progeny to select in each stage—all while staying within a fixed budget.

Participants will be divided into groups of three based on their self-designated knowledge of the different aspects of plant breeding. This will facilitate networking as you get to know your fellow plant breeders.


Follow the steps below to get started!

Simply fill out the following google form and you will be registered to participate for a prize on January 28th, 2021 from 9:00am-10:30am.

Step 1

Watch the following 10 minute tutorial video prior to the workshop. This will ensure you are well prepared to compete!

Step 2

If you are as excited as we are, you can hone your plant breeding skills in the released version! Note: the version that will be used at the symposium will be modified to ensure a fair competitive environment.

Step 3

Download the software. Make sure your computer meets all the requirements mentioned in the registration. This will be released just prior to the symposium competition.

Step 4

About the Creator

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Dr. Rex Bernardo - Professor and Endowed Chair in Corn Breeding and Genetics

Dr. Bernardo has been on the faculty at the University of Minnesota since 2000. He obtained a B.S. degree in agriculture, majoring in plant breeding, at the Visayas State College of Agriculture in the Philippines in 1984. He graduated summa cum laude and worked in a national breeding program for sweet potato. In 1988 he obtained a Ph.D. degree in plant breeding at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Prior to coming to Minnesota, Dr. Bernardo was a research scientist at Limagrain Genetics, Champaign, Illinois for 9 years and a faculty member at Purdue University for 3 years. He has been a visiting scientist at INRA in Gif-sur-Yvette, France; Limagrain Europe in Riom, France; Wageningen University in the Netherlands; CIRAD in Montpellier, France; BOKU University near Vienna, Austria; and University of Bologna in Italy.

Professor Bernardo has served as an associate editor and a technical editor of Crop Science and as an editor of Theoretical and Applied Genetics. His awards include the Young Crop Scientist Award from the Crop Science Society of America (CSSA) in 1999; Fellow of CSSA in 2005; Fellow of the American Society of Agronomy in 2005; Plant Breeding Impact Award from the National Association of Plant Breeders in 2015; and Crop Science Research Award from CSSA in 2019.

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