ReproTag - Targeting reproductive traits for more .. (ReproTag)
ReproTag - Targeting reproductive traits for more efficient forage grass breeding
Start date: Feb 1, 2014,
End date: Jan 31, 2017
Grassland is a key component of a diverse but productive European agroecosystem and contributes to sustainable feed and food production worldwide. Novel grass breeding schemes based on a more efficient exploitation of heterosis have the potential to substantially outperform current forage grass varieties in terms of biomass yield, resistance and tolerance to biotic and abiotic stresses. However, current attempts to produce hybrids in forage crops are limited by self-incompatibility (SI), a genetic mechanism that efficiently promotes cross pollination, and the inability to efficiently control pollination for hybrid seed production at commercial quantities.The overall goal of the research is to identify and target grass reproductive traits that can be utilized in hybrid breeding schemes and finally lead to improved productivity of forage and turf grasses. The proposed research will focus on the two-locus SI system, fertility restoring self-compatibility loci (SC), cytoplasmic male sterility (CMS) mechanisms and double haploid (DH) induction in perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.).This goal will be achieved by a unique cross-disciplinary approach combining expertise in hybrid breeding available at the host institution, state of the art genetic and genomic tools available through the collaboration partner from Aarhus University, Denmark, and excellent genetic resources available from Molecular Ecology and Fodder Crop Breeding at Agroscope Reckenholz-Tänikon Research Station (ART).For the host institution, the proposed research will strengthen the research strategy to improve aspects of the “World Food Systems” and complement the teaching portfolio by adding valuable education elements based on molecular breeding strategies. Close interaction of collaborating parties will not only enable rapid scientific progress but also allow for efficient dissemination of knowledge and implementation of the results into practical breeding.
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