Molecular Characterization of Mutated Genes Controlling Important Traits for Seed Crop Improvement

Objective:

To assist Member States in the application of the molecular genetics of mutated genes to improve production in both major cereals and related under-utilized crops by addressing the specific research objectives, which are: 1) To collectively develop, characterize and data-base mutant collections of key crops for application by CRP members and the world scientific community, 2) To molecularly characterize new or existing mutants affecting key agronomic traits in major crops and using comparative approaches in under-utilized crops with a view to their eventual isolation.

Activities:

The objective of the CRP is to assist Member States in the application of the molecular genetics of mutated genes to improve production in both major cereals and related under-utilised crops, especially: collectively develop, characterize and data-base mutant collections of key crops for application by CRP members and the world scientific community and to molecularly characterize new or existing mutants affecting key agronomic traits in major crops and using comparative approaches in under-utilized crops with a view to their eventual isolation. This CRP will meet the need for the creation and characterization of induced genetic variation necessary to exploit the full power of structural and functional genomics for gene isolation directed at the improvement of orphan crops and allied species. Potential crops to be included: Orphans (suggested examples - maize (tropical), sorghum, teff, millets, wheat (for marginal area), Solanaceous spp., alfalfa or other forage legumes, oats.

Models for molecular research: rice, maize, tomato, Medicago trunculata.. Criteria to be used for selection of phenotypes: importance to the breeding and productivity of the orphan crop; the existence of candidate loci and mutants (orthologues or paralogues) in one or more model species; feasibility of evaluating the phenotype in the orphan crop; existence of candidate loci, mutants and phenotypes in the orphan crop; feasibility of transferring and utilizing the information in the orphan crop and the model species. Phenotypes and genes to be included: resistance to biotic and abiotic stress, plant stature, nutritional composition, photoperiod response, root development. Expected research outputs: transfer of techniques for molecular characterization and cloning of mutated genes from advanced to partner laboratories; organization of the research network; a comprehensive, informative, up-to-date central data base including all the CRP generated data; Gene Bank composed of 20,000-40,000 M4 seed packets originating from mutated seeds of the rice cultivars japonica (Nipponbare) and indica. The Gene Bank will be produced by the "Mutation Club" in which each member will contribute their mutated M4 seed packets, means of long term maintenance and characterization of this collection will be identified; an informative and interactive web page will be created, describing the participants and the program and pointing to the data base.

Participants:

[Download pdf]

Reports:

  • Report of the First RCM, Vienna, Austria, 1999

Project Officer:

P.J.L. Lagoda