Brassica Rapeseed And Vegetable Optimisation

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


The goal of the BRAVO project is to elucidate, validate and exploit the interlinked processes that determine trade-offs between developmental traits. This knowledge will provide the foundation for reliable, high-marketable yields and the robust production of high-quality seed in oilseed and vegetable Brassicas. Key plant traits for yield such as time to flowering, fertility, seed number, size and vigour are now known to be determined by an overlapping network of genes originally described for their role in
controlling flowering time. This highly collaborative project has been formed and developed through discussions with industrial stakeholders, who will have representation on the Supervisory Board. Our target traits of seed vigour, seed size and number, flowering time and inflorescence architecture are a function of both the plant genotype and the environment and strategic targets suggested by our stakeholders.
Specific objectives of the proposal:
Obj 1. Tissue-specific Network Determination: constructing and testing a flowering time gene-network model for B. napus and B. oleracea for all major tissues from vegetative to reproductive growth
Obj 2. Vegetative-to-reproductive growth: understanding the floral transition and inflorescence architecture to breed for synchronised, determinate flowering
Obj 3. Sporophyte-to-gametophyte: manipulating male fertility to improve yield and hybridisation systems
Obj 4. Gametophyte-to-sporophyte: optimising the trade-off between seed size and number to maximise seed yield
Obj 5. Seeds-to-seedling: understanding the mechanisms by which flowering time pathways affect resilience in seed vigour for improved crop establishment
Obj 6: Developing community resources to support public and private sector Brassica research.
Across the seven participating institutions we will take an interdisciplinary, integrated approach to understand and exploit key transitions during plant development to optimise agriculturally important
traits in Brassicas.


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