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Huntingdon, United Kingdom

Alessio P.,University of Florence | Mosti S.,University of Florence | Tani G.,University of Florence | Di Falco P.,University of Florence | And 2 more authors.
Caryologia | Year: 2010

These observations are the flrst on the ultrastructure of the embryo and the endosperm of Eruca sativa Hill. We investigated the cv. Nemat, which is characterized by a particularly high amount of lipids and glucosinolates. Our observations suggested that the thick and abundant micropylar endosperm, completely surrounding the suspensor, may be the main active source of nutrients for the embryo. This endosperm, like the central chamber endosperm, is particularly rich in functional chloroplasts and cellularizes later with respect to the other previously investigated Brassicaceae. The last (distal with respect to the embryo) suspensor cell exhibits important features related to the passage of nutrients, such as wall ingrowths. In fact these ingrowths appear as highly convoluted labyrinthine wall projections. Such ultrastructural features are typical of transfer cells. The accumulation stage in E. sativa cv. Nemat appears to occur early (Heart stage of embryo development, as Brassica napus). The endosperm compartment called Chalazal Endosperm Cyst (CEC), contributes actively to the embryo trophism during the Heart and Torpedo stages. This function is evident because of the high number of chloroplasts in the cyst and for the observed continuity between the CEC and the other endosperm compartments (CC endosperm and micropylar endosperm) in cv. Nemat. The morphology of the CEC appeared to be more similar to the pyriform shape sensu Brown et al., but with a more fl attened base with respect to the proposed examples, and without labyrinthine wall. The Chalazal Chamber appeared to be more similar to the Brown's type B in E. sativa. The presence of chloroplasts with a well developed thylakoid system indicates an active photosynthetic activity by the majority of the seed tissues. E. sativa leaves are normally harvested for food, while the seeds of cv. Nemat appear to be particularly rich in oil. The premature independence of seeds and fruits from the necessity of absorbing nutrients from the rest of the plant, could indicate the possibility of harvesting both leaves (earlier) and seeds (later) in this plant without compromising a full seed maturation.

Bassi F.M.,International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas | Bentley A.R.,The John Bingham Laboratory | Charmet G.,French National Institute for Agricultural Research | Ortiz R.,Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences | Crossa J.,Biometrics and Statistics Unit
Plant Science | Year: 2016

In the last decade the breeding technology referred to as 'genomic selection' (GS) has been implemented in a variety of species, with particular success in animal breeding. Recent research shows the potential of GS to reshape wheat breeding. Many authors have concluded that the estimated genetic gain per year applying GS is several times that of conventional breeding. GS is, however, a new technology for wheat breeding and many programs worldwide are still struggling to identify the best strategy for its implementation. This article provides practical guidelines on the key considerations when implementing GS. A review of the existing GS literature for a range of species is provided and used to prime breeder-oriented considerations on the practical applications of GS. Furthermore, this article discusses potential breeding schemes for GS, genotyping considerations, and methods for effective training population design. The components of selection intensity, progress toward inbreeding in half- or full-sibs recurrent schemes, and the generation of selection are also presented. © 2015 The Authors.

Zikhali M.,John Innes Center | Leverington-Waite M.,John Innes Center | Fish L.,John Innes Center | Simmonds J.,John Innes Center | And 6 more authors.
Molecular Breeding | Year: 2014

Vernalization, photoperiod and the relatively poorly defined earliness per se (eps) genes regulate flowering in plants. We report here the validation of a major eps quantitative trait locus (QTL) located on wheat 1DL using near isogenic lines (NILs). We used four independent pairs of NILs derived from a cross between Spark and Rialto winter wheat varieties, grown in both the field and controlled environments. NILs carrying the Spark allele, defined by QTL flanking markers Xgdm111 and Xbarc62, consistently flowered 3–5 days earlier when fully vernalized relative to those with the Rialto. The effect was independent of photoperiod under field conditions, short days (10-h light), long days (16-h light) and very long days (20-h light). These results validate our original QTL identified using doubled haploid (DH) populations. This QTL represents variation maintained in elite north-western European winter wheat germplasm. The two DH lines used to develop the NILs, SR9 and SR23 enabled us to define the location of the 1DL QTL downstream of marker Xgdm111. SR9 has the Spark 1DL arm while SR23 has a recombinant 1DL arm with the Spark allele from Xgdm111 to the distal end. Our work suggests that marker assisted selection of eps effects is feasible and useful even before the genes are cloned. This means eps genes can be defined and positionally cloned in the same way as the photoperiod and vernalization genes have been. This validation study is a first step towards fine mapping and eventually cloning the gene directly in hexaploid wheat. © 2014, The Author(s).

Abberton M.,International Institute Of Tropical Agriculture | Batley J.,University of Western Australia | Batley J.,University of Queensland | Bentley A.,The John Bingham Laboratory | And 29 more authors.
Plant Biotechnology Journal | Year: 2016

Summary: Agriculture is now facing the 'perfect storm' of climate change, increasing costs of fertilizer and rising food demands from a larger and wealthier human population. These factors point to a global food deficit unless the efficiency and resilience of crop production is increased. The intensification of agriculture has focused on improving production under optimized conditions, with significant agronomic inputs. Furthermore, the intensive cultivation of a limited number of crops has drastically narrowed the number of plant species humans rely on. A new agricultural paradigm is required, reducing dependence on high inputs and increasing crop diversity, yield stability and environmental resilience. Genomics offers unprecedented opportunities to increase crop yield, quality and stability of production through advanced breeding strategies, enhancing the resilience of major crops to climate variability, and increasing the productivity and range of minor crops to diversify the food supply. Here we review the state of the art of genomic-assisted breeding for the most important staples that feed the world, and how to use and adapt such genomic tools to accelerate development of both major and minor crops with desired traits that enhance adaptation to, or mitigate the effects of climate change. > © 2016 Society for Experimental Biology, Association of Applied Biologists and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

Bentley A.R.,The John Bingham Laboratory | Scutari M.,University College London | Gosman N.,The John Bingham Laboratory | Faure S.,Biogemma | And 15 more authors.
Theoretical and Applied Genetics | Year: 2014

Key message: We show the application of association mapping and genomic selection for key breeding targets using a large panel of elite winter wheat varieties and a large volume of agronomic data.Abstract: The heightening urgency to increase wheat production in line with the needs of a growing population, and in the face of climatic uncertainty, mean new approaches, including association mapping (AM) and genomic selection (GS) need to be validated and applied in wheat breeding. Key adaptive responses are the cornerstone of regional breeding. There is evidence that new ideotypes for long-standing traits such as flowering time may be required. In order to detect targets for future marker-assisted improvement and validate the practical application of GS for wheat breeding we genotyped 376 elite wheat varieties with 3,046 DArT, single nucleotide polymorphism and gene markers and measured seven traits in replicated yield trials over 2 years in France, Germany and the UK. The scale of the phenotyping exceeds the breadth of previous AM and GS studies in these key economic wheat production regions of Northern Europe. Mixed-linear modelling (MLM) detected significant marker-trait associations across and within regions. Genomic prediction using elastic net gave low to high prediction accuracies depending on the trait, and could be experimentally increased by modifying the constituents of the training population (TP). We also tested the use of differentially penalised regression to integrate candidate gene and genome-wide markers to predict traits, demonstrating the validity and simplicity of this approach. Overall, our results suggest that whilst AM offers potential for application in both research and breeding, GS represents an exciting opportunity to select key traits, and that optimisation of the TP is crucial to its successful implementation. © 2014, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.

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