Dissecting Vernalization in Brassica

Lead Research Organisation: John Innes Centre
Department Name: Contracts Office

Abstract

The UK has a strong base in flowering time research, especially in the control of vernalization. From the work of Caroline Dean at the John Innes Centre, and others, much is now known about the genetic pathways regulating vernalization in the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana. The aim of this programme is to identify the genes controlling vernalization in Brassica and exploit this information to develop tools to speed up the breeding in Brassica vegetable crops.
We will exploit the continually expanding genomic resources in Brassica to map paralogues of key Arabidopsis genes involved in the control of flowering with a focus on known vernalization genes. We will use Brassica: Arabidopsis synteny to identify putative candidates underlying QTL mapped under different temperature x time treatments. Identification of candidate genes for selected QTL will be confirmed by functional analysis including co-segregation of alleles with maturity phenotypes in backcross progeny together with complementation tests in appropriate Arabidopsis mutants. We will demonstrate the generality of our findings by analysing allelic variation in a wide range of germplasm including the Defra funded Diversity Fixed Foundation Sets (DFFS) for B.oleracea and the wild C genome being produced at Warwick HRI.
Allelic variation will be related to performance under past and present weather patterns. We will use the UKCP scenarios, and in particular the Weather generator, to model future growing conditions. We will link past and current variety performance to inform future breeding strategies for continuity of production.
 
Description Flowering is a key component of plant adaptation, affecting geographical distribution and suitability for farming practices. It is highly relevant to yield, quality and environmental considerations as flowering at the appropriate time ensures best use of the available growing season, promoting sustainability and reducing the need for inputs. This project was focussed on the genetic mechanism responsible for variation in vernalization response in Brassica. Vernalisation is important in agriculture, allowing the development of spring and winter sown varieties.
Outcomes include the establishment of a research programme in partnership with industry to ensure relevance and focus. Working closely together the Dean and Irwin groups, with support from the Knowledge Exchange and Commercialisation (KEC) Team at JIC, have explored the conservation of the flowering time pathways between Arabidopsis and Brassica. We have translated fundamental knowledge of the regulation of vernalisation from Arabidopsis so that it is relevant to Brassica oleracea and Brassica napus which are important horticultural and agricultural crops.
This translational research has delivered:
1. Mapping populations and candidate gene mapping and characterisation by QTL analysis
2. The identification of a short generation broccoli (SGB) genotype that would enable additional harvests throughout the growing season.
3. Market research and a commercialisation assessment for novel brassica germplasm (BBSRC FOF Pathfinder BB/P018688/1).

Using the underpinning knowledge generated in this project and using conventional breeding approaches, as part of Institute programme grant (BB/P013511/1) we have generated germplasm with a wide range of variation in time to maturity after all lines have received the same period of lower temperature (vernalisation). In addition, we have identified the genetic basis of the short generation line (8-12 weeks depending on ambient temperature conditions).
We are also exploiting these findings in the BBSRC-funded sLoLa BRAVO where we are addressing the trade-offs between key developmental transitions in both Brassica napus and Brassica oleracea and in which flowering time regulators are known to play a part.
Exploitation Route Data from this project, combined with that from BBSRC/Defra LINK project BB/H04602/1 Controlling Supply Quality and Waste in Brassica vegetables: Understanding the genetics of maturity to breed varieties in response to climate change, is being used in a number of other projects including Institute strategic programme BB/P013511/1 Genes in the Environment, BBSRC-funded sLola BRAVO and in interactions with industry
Sectors Agriculture, Food and Drink

 
Description Using the underpinning knowledge generated in this project and using conventional breeding approaches, we have generated germplasm with a wide range of variation in time to maturity after all lines have received the same period of lower temperature (vernalisation).
First Year Of Impact 2016
Sector Agriculture, Food and Drink
Impact Types Societal,Economic

 
Description Seeding Catalyst Award
Amount £16,083 (GBP)
Funding ID BB/SCA/JIC/17 
Organisation Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 08/2017 
End 02/2018
 
Description 2-month training visit to JIC by Collaborator from Bangladesh Agricultural research Insitiute 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Third sector organisations
Results and Impact Two-month visit by Mustard Breeder from Bangladesh Agricultural research institute to further interactions between JIC and BARI to help improve mustard productivity
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Article published in the Times 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Article reporting development of new short generation Broccoli
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Interview for Horticultural press 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Interview with Freelance journalist writing articles for Horticultural press resulting in article in the vegetable farmer
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Interview for BBC Radio 4 farming today 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Radio interview discussimg new short generation broccoli
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Interview for BBC Radio Norfolk Drive time 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Live radio interview discussing new short generation broccoli
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Interview for Nation Radio 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact INterview with Tracey Logan for BBC Radio 4 inside science on climate change, warm winters and the impact on our crops
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Interview for national news 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Interview with ITV News concerning the effects of mild winters on crop plants
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Invited Speaker, Brassica2018, 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Invited to give Keynote lecture at Brassica 2018 entitled: The impact of flowering time genes on crop productivity: more than when to flower
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Invited Talk at Knowledge Transfer network event 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Presentation describing how understanding the regulation of flowering time can contribute to combating the impacts of climate change in Brassica breeding
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description One month training visit to JIC by Researcher from Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Third sector organisations
Results and Impact One Month visit by Researcher from the Oilseed Research Centre at the Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute for training in sequence analysis, primer and marker design for use in breeding activities at BARI to help improve mustard productivity
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Presentation at Brassica workshop, PAG 2019 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Invited presentation in Brassica workshop at Plant and Animal Genome conference, 2019 entitled: Dissecting vernalisation: keeping the greens on your plate
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Presentation at STEM event 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Presentation to girls from a selection of schools at a STEM event
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Press article for regional newspaper 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Article the the Press and Journal following press release about new short generation broccoli
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Talk at Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute, Jamalpur, Bangladesh 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Between 50 and 100 local farmers, media and school teacher attended Field day to here about work to improve Mustard productivity in Bangladesh
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Talk at Eastern Agritech event 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Talk to a business audience on developing germplasm for 21st Century Horticultural production
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Talk at Vegetable consultants conference 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Talk and Q&A session to group of Vegetable consultants who inform framers, growers and producers
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Visit by JIC researcher to run a course 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact JIC researcher visited the Oilseed Research Centre at the Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute to provide training in the interpretation and use of a sequenced based database designed to help with primer design for Marker assisted selection in breeding programmes
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Visit to Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute, Dhaka 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Third sector organisations
Results and Impact Visit to Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute , BARI and visit to field trial sites
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Workshop JIC-CAAS on oilseed rape 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Workshop and discussions with staff from OCRI-CAAS on future collaborations
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017