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Prediction and modeling of hybrid performance and yield gain in oilseed rape by systems biology

Plant breeding has to meet the challenges posed by global climate change and a growing need for food supply and bioenergy. Heterosis has proven to be an efficient way to improve yield and environmental adaptability, and has been used in breeding of many crops. Rapeseed (Brassica napus) is one of the most important edible oilseed crops in the world, as well as a major potential source of bio-diesel production in Germany. Compared to other major crops such as corn and rye heterosis in oilseed rape is still hard to explain. Therefore, it is necessary to explore efficient methods that could predict hybrid performance.

PROGReSs ProjektbildRoot phenotyping of rapeseed on germination paper. Root system architecture and root growth rate can be monitored and analyzed non-invasively over time

The project PROGReSs represents a unique initiative to examine the phenomenon of heterosis in rapeseed using a systems biology approach. The systems biology approach is carried out with large quantities and highly complex genomic, phenotypic and environmental data. Deep phenotyping of root and shoot traits of winter oilseed rape lines is carried out under controlled environmental conditions in the institute IBG-2: Plant Sciences. The work plan includes accurate phenotyping of two different sets of doubled haploids (DHs) genotypes. The phenotypic and genomic data are combined in several iterative processes and used to develop models for predicting yield and heterosis in rapeseed. Ten German universities, research institutes and breeding companies are involved in the PROGReSs project which is sponsored by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) for three years.
The PROGReSs project will promote the development of analytical tools and models for early parental selection in hybrid breeding of rapeseed. These models will provide an important basis to expand the knowledge of the impact of genetic and environmental factors on yield under natural growing conditions, and can be used specifically to support the selection as part of the hybrid breeding of rapeseed.



Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung

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Link to the Researcharea in the IBG-2





Project leader:
Dr. Kerstin Nagel

Plant Phenotyping, Bioeconomy, Bioproduction

Research area:
Jülich Plant Phenotyping Centre - JPPC
Start 01.03.2015 - 28.02.2018