Accelerated Breeding for Disease Resistance in Commercial Brassicas by Associative Transcriptomics

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


This interchange project aims to exchange knowledge between JIC and CN Seeds (CNS) scientists about the commercial and technical improvement of two highly-related brassica species, oilseed rape (B. napus) and baby leaf kale (B. oleracea, BLK). In a related grant (Mechanistic Analysis of Disease resistance in Brassicas by Associative Transcriptomics, MAQBAT), we are undertaking research to develop resistance in B napus. The methods used in MAQBAT can be directly applied to BLK variety improvement.
The first objective enables JIC researchers to experience research in a commercial environment. They will visit customers of CNS to learn about the BLK supply chain and the impact of diseases. Through this objective, the JIC researchers will be able to more effectively target their science to make it relevant to UK industry.
The second objective aims to transfer knowledge to CNS so that they can accelerate the breeding of disease-resistant BLK. A CNS scientist will work at JIC, learning about the pathology assays and molecular markers. We will establish and maintain a collection of mildew isolates through the network of growers liaised with CNS and academic partners. We will determine virulence patterns for race differentiation and select the most relevant isolates for agriculture. The isolates will be used for screening disease on the BLK diversity set obtained from the VeGIN network and amplified at CNS. To develop markers for mildew resistance in BLK, we will follow two strategies: 1) mapping in BLK and 2) transferring results of associative transcriptomics (AT) from B. napus to BLK. For mildew responses in BLK we will use mapping populations and markers established previously within the DEFRA initiatives VeGIN and OReGIN. This will enable CNS to develop their own populations for mapping traits. We will use the B. napus diversity panel from MAQBAT to find loci linked with mildew resistance by AT. These loci can be used by CNS for use in BLK breeding directly.


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