Renewable Industrial Products from Rapeseed (RIPR)

Lead Research Organisation: Quadram Institute Bioscience
Department Name: Contracts


The principal aim of the project is to understand the genetic control, in rapeseed, of the accumulation of compounds representing emerging bio-refining opportunities and fertilizer use efficiency. We will:
1. Establish data models for Brassica transcriptomics and traits. This involves the development of databases and systems enabling the UK Brassica research community to access, analysis and exploit large-scale gene sequence and expression datasets, trait data and marker-trait associations.
2. Determine and make available functional genotypes for Brassica diversity collections. This involves the production of Illumina sequence reads from mRNA extracted from the leaves of each of 600 Brassica accessions (400 B. napus accessions plus 100 accessions of each of B. rapa and B. oleracea), along with the identification and scoring of sequence polymorphisms and quantification of transcript abundance.
3. Improve our understanding of the genetic bases of rapeseed bio-refining traits: tocopherols, phytosterols, waxes and functional polysaccharides, and nutrient use efficiency. This will involve the use of Associative Transcriptomics (a combination of genome-wide association scans, gene expression correlation with trait variation and co-expression network analysis) to identify gene sequence and/or gene expression markers. Hypotheses and markers will be developed for the control of product accumulation. These will be tested by the quantitative analysis of traits following the inter-crossing of plant lines from the collection and/or the selection and testing of plant lines from a “TILLING” population.
4. Develop models for both economic and environmental sustainability of rapeseed. This involves both a cost-benefit analysis for the economic exploitation of co-products from rapeseed and an assessment of the potential environmental impacts, taking into account the potential for improving nutrient use efficiency.


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