Sivakumar Sukumaran leads CIMMYT’s spring wheat pre-breeding in Mexico. His current research focuses on the identification and incorporation of novel genetic variation from synthetics, landraces and germplasm bank accessions into elite germplasm. The strategy involves the dissection of grain yield into subcomponents and identification of molecular markers and combinations for increasing yield potential and tolerance to abiotic stresses.
Sukumaran integrates knowledge in plant breeding, quantitative genetics, molecular breeding and crop physiology with the goal of developing pre-bred germplasm for changing climates. Current research includes Genome-Wide Association Studies (GWAS) with diverse germplasm, Quantitative Trait Loci (QTL) mapping, Genomic Selection (GS) strategies to efficiently integrate complex traits into pre-breeding pipelines, Genotype-by-Environment Interaction (GEI) and Genetic Dissections of Complex Traits.