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Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-ITN | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-2010-ITN | Award Amount: 3.46M | Year: 2010

The world-wide demand for primary plant products to be used for food, feed and fuel is increasing dramatically. The foreseen climate changes are expected to have a negative impact on plant productivity in addition. Future agriculture urgently needs new crop plant varieties with enhanced and sustainable productivity. To meet this challenge, CropLife focuses on leaf lifespan as a major determinant of plant productivity and aims to develop new breeding strategies for prolonging leaf photosynthesis and delaying senescence processes. The network focuses on barley and perennial ryegrass, which are excellent models for research and crop development in Europe. The CropLife primary objectives will be addressed in the four workpackages. These are: the identification of key factors initiating senescence (1), and proteins regulating leaf lifespan (2), the elucidation of molecular mechanisms of senescence-associated protein degradation and nitrogen remobilization (3), and the analysis of lifespan and exploitation of genetic variation in lifespan in order to breed new varieties with increased productivity (4). CropLife provides intersectorial experience by integrating partners from the public and private sectors. The training programme includes state-ofthe-art local training activities and network-wide courses, summer schools and workshops. Young researchers will be trained in a range of cutting edge research skills, as well as in complementary skills that will enhance their career prospects. Further benefits will arise from secondments in partner laboratories and intersectorial visits to associated partners from the private sector. To guarantee training at the most advanced level, outstanding scientists in the field will be integrated as visiting researchers. Workshops and a final network conference will provide a platform for dissemination of the networks achievements which are expected to increase the competitiveness of European plant research and agriculture.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-TP | Phase: KBBE.2013.1.2-02 | Award Amount: 6.88M | Year: 2014

The project has been conceived to promote the culture of grain legumes in Europe by identifying priority issues currently limiting grain legume cultivation and devising solutions in term of novel varietal development, culture practices, and food uses. LEGATO will develop tools and resources to enable state of the art breeding methodology and to exploit fully the breadth of genetic resources available. The project will focus on a small number of key characters not previously explored in depth and complementary to other ongoing European and national projects. These topics covered include disease and pest resistance, where in addition to marker development for major fungal and viral pathogens, a focus on emerging insect pests is planned. The impact of end-of-season drought and heat stress on the rhizobial symbiosis, and its consequences for plant performance, will be studied. Two characters that can influence grain legume yield, autofertility and number of flowering nodes, will be investigated. The potential for improving legume nutritional and organoleptic quality by identification of desirable traits and innovative selection methods will be investigated. LEGATO will conceive sustainable legume-based cropping systems adapted to different pedoclimatic zones, respecting local constraints. The project has been constructed around the participation of commercial partners including SMEs in the areas of marker development, plant breeding, and legume food processing, who will benefit from the advances made in these areas in LEGATO. Promising legume varieties and cropping systems will be tested at a series of pan-european sites to favour the widest possible take-up in agriculture, and the partners potentially concerned will participate in a stakeholder forum convened regularly during the project.

Koeslin-Findeklee F.,Leibniz University of Hanover | Meyer A.,Leibniz University of Hanover | Girke A.,Norddeutsche Pflanzenzucht Hans Georg Lembke KG | Beckmann K.,NPZ Innovation GmbH | Horst W.J.,Leibniz University of Hanover
Plant and Soil | Year: 2014

Aims: Winter oilseed rape (Brassica napus L.) cultivation causes high nitrogen (N) balance surpluses. The breeding and cultivation of N-efficient cultivars (high grain yield under low N supply) can contribute to the reduction of the crop-specific N surpluses. Comparing line cultivars with hybrids and dwarfs the hypothesis was tested if stay-green into reproductive growth contributes to superior N efficiency of hybrids and dwarfs.Methods: The present work comprised two years field experiments with ten line, five hybrid and three dwarf cultivars and hydroponic experiments with three hybrid and nine line cultivars.Results: Hybrids were superior in yield formation independent of the N supply. The greater N efficiency of the hybrids was related to a higher N uptake until maturity, but not to stay-green. This was in agreement with a hydroponic experiment in which the hybrids were particularly responsive in N starvation-induced leaf senescence of older leaves as revealed by SPAD, photosynthesis and the expression of the senescence-specific cysteine protease gene SAG12-1. Additionally, hybrids were characterized by an efficient N retranslocation from vegetative to reproductive plant organs in combination with a lower grain-N concentration.Conclusions: Both, N uptake and N utilization efficiency were decisive for the superior N efficiency of the hybrids. © 2014, Springer International Publishing Switzerland.

Girke A.,Norddeutsche Pflanzenzucht Hans Georg Lembke KG | Schierholt A.,University of Gottingen | Becker H.C.,University of Gottingen
Genetic Resources and Crop Evolution | Year: 2012

Resynthesized Brassica napus L. could be employed to increase the genetic variation in the narrow oilseed rape genepool and to establish a genetically distant genepool for hybrid breeding. One important criterion for selecting appropriate resynthesized lines is their genetic distance to adapted breeding material. In this study we estimated the genetic distances in a wide collection of 142 resynthesized lines and 57 winter and spring rapeseed cultivars from Europe, North America and Asia using RFLP marker data. The highest in-group genetic distance (0.36) was observed in 142 resynthesized lines compared to 0.21 in winter, 0.23 in summer, and 0.28 in Asian genotypes. The group of adapted breeding material clustered into three groups of winter-, spring-type, and Asian genotypes. Resynthesized lines did not form distinct subgroups in the cluster analysis, but large differences were revealed in the genetic distance of resynthesized lines to the adapted winter oilseed rape genepool. The highest distance to winter oilseed rape was found in resynthesized lines with parental lines from the Asian genepool as B. oleracea convar. botrytis var. alboglabra (Bail.) Sun or B. rapa ssp. chinensis (L.) Hanelt. © 2011 The Author(s).

Girke A.,Norddeutsche Pflanzenzucht Hans Georg Lembke KG | Schierholt A.,University of Gottingen | Becker H.C.,University of Gottingen
Theoretical and Applied Genetics | Year: 2012

Hybrid breeding relies on the combination of parents from two differing heterotic groups. However, the genetic diversity in adapted oilseed rape breeding material is rather limited. Therefore, the use of resynthesized Brassica napus as a distant gene pool was investigated. Hybrids were derived from crosses between 44 resynthesized lines with a diverse genetic background and two male sterile winter oilseed rape tester lines. The hybrids were evaluated together with their parents and check cultivars in 2 years and five locations in Germany. Yield, plant height, seed oil, and protein content were monitored, and genetic distances were estimated with molecular markers (127 polymorphic RFLP fragments). Resynthesized lines varied in yield between 40. 9 dt/ha and 21. 5 dt/ha, or between 85. 1 and 44. 6% of check cultivar yields. Relative to check cultivars, hybrids varied from 91. 6 to 116. 6% in yield and from 94. 5 to 103. 3% in seed oil content. Mid-parent heterosis varied from -3. 5 to 47. 2% for yield. The genetic distance of parental lines was not significantly correlated with heterosis or hybrid yield. Although resynthesized lines do not meet the elite rapeseed standards, they are a valuable source for hybrid breeding due to their large distance from present breeding material and their high heterosis when combined with European winter oilseed rape. © 2011 The Author(s).

Abbadi A.,Norddeutsche Pflanzenzucht Hans Georg Lembke KG | Leckband G.,Norddeutsche Pflanzenzucht Hans Georg Lembke KG
European Journal of Lipid Science and Technology | Year: 2011

The successful development of 00-oilseed rape-also named canola (erucic acid free in seed oil and low glucosinolate content in the residual seed)-has opened almost unlimited avenues into the food and feed markets. Oilseed rape is today the world's third leading oil crop and contributes both to the economies and health of people around the world. During the last decades, the demand for vegetable oils as food, non-food, and biofuel has grown significantly. This demand could be satisfied due to improved agronomic developments, better processing methods, and improvements in the varieties available. The yield however varies in different countries, reflecting different input levels and production efficiency. This highlights the room for crop improvement, and the yield will continue to be the primary focus of many rapeseed improvement programs. Besides yield and yield stability increasing seed oil content and further improvement of oil and meal qualities have become one of the most important breeding criteria. Modern varieties are based on a relatively small subset of the available genetic diversities. Rapeseed is thus likely to respond strongly to programs aimed at selectively enhancing genetic variation for key economic input and output traits. This review outlines the progress and future challenges for rapeseed breeding. © 2011 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

Wurschum T.,University of Hohenheim | Maurer H.P.,University of Hohenheim | Dreyer F.,Norddeutsche Pflanzenzucht Hans Georg Lembke KG | Reif J.C.,University of Hohenheim
Theoretical and Applied Genetics | Year: 2013

The loci detected by association mapping which are involved in the expression of important agronomic traits in crops often explain only a small proportion of the total genotypic variance. Here, 17 SNPs derived from 9 candidate genes from the triacylglycerol biosynthetic pathway were studied in an association analysis in a population of 685 diverse elite rapeseed inbred lines. The 685 lines were evaluated for oil content, as well as for glucosinolates, yield, and thousand-kernel weight in field trials at 4 locations. We detected main effects for most of the studied genes illustrating that genetic diversity for oil content can be exploited by the selection of favorable alleles. In addition to main effects, both intergenic and intragenic epistasis was detected that contributes to a considerable amount to the genotypic variance observed for oil content. The proportion of explained genotypic variance was doubled when in addition to main effects epistasis was considered. Therefore, a knowledge-based improvement of oil content in rapeseed should also take such favorable epistatic interactions into account. Our results suggest, that the observed high contribution of epistasis may to some extent explain the missing heritability in genome-wide association studies. © 2012 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.

Harloff H.-J.,University of Kiel | Lemcke S.,University of Kiel | Mittasch J.,Leibniz Institute of Plant Biochemistry | Frolov A.,Leibniz Institute of Plant Biochemistry | And 4 more authors.
Theoretical and Applied Genetics | Year: 2012

We developed two mutant populations of oilseed rape (Brassica napus L.) using EMS (ethylmethanesulfonate) as a mutagen. The populations were derived from the spring type line YN01-429 and the winter type cultivar Express 617 encompassing 5,361 and 3,488 M 2 plants, respectively. A high-throughput screening protocol was established based on a two-dimensional 8× pooling strategy. Genes of the sinapine biosynthesis pathway were chosen for determining the mutation frequencies and for creating novel genetic variation for rapeseed breeding. The extraction meal of oilseed rape is a rich protein source containing about 40% protein. Its use as an animal feed or human food, however, is limited by antinutritive compounds like sinapine. The targeting-induced local lesions in genomes (TILLING) strategy was applied to identify mutations of major genes of the sinapine biosynthesis pathway. We constructed locus-specific primers for several TILLING amplicons of two sinapine synthesis genes, BnaX. SGT and BnaX. REF1, covering 80-90% of the coding sequences. Screening of both populations revealed 229 and 341 mutations within the BnaX. SGT sequences (135 missense and 13 nonsense mutations) and the BnaX. REF1 sequences (162 missense, 3 nonsense, 8 splice site mutations), respectively. These mutants provide a new resource for breeding low-sinapine oilseed rape. The frequencies of missense and nonsense mutations corresponded to the frequencies of the target codons. Mutation frequencies ranged from 1/12 to 1/22 kb for the Express 617 population and from 1/27 to 1/60 kb for the YN01-429 population. Our TILLING resource is publicly available. Due to the high mutation frequencies in combination with an 8× pooling strategy, mutants can be routinely identified in a cost-efficient manner. However, primers have to be carefully designed to amplify single sequences from the polyploid rapeseed genome. © 2011 Springer-Verlag.

Liu L.,Justus Liebig University | Liu L.,Southwest University | Stein A.,Justus Liebig University | Wittkop B.,Justus Liebig University | And 7 more authors.
Theoretical and Applied Genetics | Year: 2012

Seed coat phenolic compounds represent important antinutritive fibre components that cause a considerable reduction in value of seed meals from oilseed rape (Brassica napus). The nutritionally most important fibre compound is acid detergent lignin (ADL), to which a significant contribution is made by phenylpropanoid-derived lignin precursors. In this study, we used bulked-segregant analysis in a population of recombinant inbred lines (RILs) from a cross of the Chinese oilseed rape lines GH06 (yellow seed, low ADL) and P174 (black seed, high ADL) to identify markers with tight linkage to a major quantitative trait locus (QTL) for seed ADL content. Fine mapping of the QTL was performed in a backcross population comprising 872 BC 1F 2 plants from a cross of an F 7 RIL from the above-mentioned population, which was heterozygous for this major QTL and P174. A 3:1 phenotypic segregation for seed ADL content indicated that a single, dominant, major locus causes a substantial reduction in ADL. This locus was successively narrowed to 0. 75 cM using in silico markers derived from a homologous Brassica rapa sequence contig spanning the QTL. Subsequently, we located a B. rapa orthologue of the key lignin biosynthesis gene CINNAMOYL CO-A REDUCTASE 1 (CCR1) only 600 kbp (0. 75 cM) upstream of the nearest linked marker. Sequencing of PCR amplicons, covering the full-length coding sequences of Bna. CCR1 homologues, revealed a locus in P174 whose sequence corresponds to the Brassica oleracea wild-type allele from chromosome C8. In GH06, however, this allele is replaced by a homologue derived from chromosome A9 that contains a loss-of-function frameshift mutation in exon 1. Genetic and physical map data infer that this loss-of-function allele has replaced a functional Bna. CCR1 locus on chromosome C8 in GH06 by homoeologous non-reciprocal translocation. © 2012 Springer-Verlag.

Mei J.,Southwest University | Li Q.,Southwest University | Qian L.,Southwest University | Fu Y.,Southwest University | And 3 more authors.
Heredity | Year: 2011

Although there are a number of different allopolyploids in the plant kingdom, the exact ancestral parents of some allopolyploids have not been well characterized. We propose a strategy in which virtual allopolyploid lines derived from different types of parental species are used to investigate the progenitors of an allopolyploid. The genotypes of the parental lines and the natural allopolyploid were established using a set of DNA molecular markers. The genotypes of the virtual lines were then derived from those of the parental lines, and compared extensively with that of the natural allopolyploid. We applied this strategy to investigate the progenitors of the C subgenome of Brassica napus (rapeseed, AACC). A total of 39 accessions from 10 wild and 7 cultivated types of the B. oleracea cytodeme (CC), and 4 accessions of B. rapa (AA) were used to construct 156 virtual rapeseed lines. Genetic structure was compared among natural rapeseed, virtual rapeseed lines, and their parental lines by principal component analysis and analysis of ancestry. Our data showed that the C subgenome of natural rapeseed was related closely to the genome of cultivated B. oleracea and its related wild types, such as B. incana, B. bourgeaui, B. montana, B. oleracea ssp. oleracea and B. cretica. This finding indicated that these types or their progeny might be ancestral donors of the C subgenome of rapeseed. The successful application of the strategy of virtual allopolyploidy in rapeseed demonstrates that it can possibly be used to identify the progenitors of an allopolyploid species. © 2011 Macmillan Publishers Limited All rights reserved.

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