International collaborative research on quinoa genetics began at BYU in 1988. Throughout this 21-year period, BYU’s focus has been devoted to improving basic scientific understanding of quinoa, and applying discoveries in plant breeding programs, education, and extension in South America. Research on quinoa genomics began in 2001 with a collaborative research grant awarded to the Foundation for Promotion and Research of Andean Products (PROINPA) in Bolivia, and Brigham Young University (BYU) in the USA from the McKnight Foundation Collaborative Crops Research Program (CCRP). This grant was renewed for a second phase that will continue through February 2010. A portion of the McKnight CCRP grant is devoted to research on quinoa genomics, the results of which have provided a foundation for the research proposed here. PROINPA is a developing-country partner with BYU in this proposal. Practically no quinoa genomics has been done by other research groups. A brief summary of our research efforts to date includes the following:
salt-tolerance physiology, genetic markers, genetic mapping, and germplasm characterization, quinoa BAC Library construction, initial cDNA libraries and ESTs, specific gene analysis, germplasm, and advanced germplasm.