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Pre Breed Yield

Precision Breeding for Yield Gain in Oilseed Rape

The aim of the project Pre-BreedYield is precision breeding for yield increase of winter rapeseed. Rapeseed (Brassica napus) is one of the most recently domesticated major crop species. Today around 6 M t of seed are produced annually on 1.5 M ha in Germany. The breeding of new varieties with enhanced yield as well as enhanced stress tolerance presents a permanent challenge.

Altogether 15 German universities, research institutes and breeding companies take part in the joint research project Pre-BreedYield which is sponsored by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) for three years. The goal of the project is to develop and implement a diverse set of plant materials selected specifically with regard to the project aims, "omics" technologies and precise phenotyping strategies that will be used to enhance rapeseed pre-breeding, subsequent breeding and development of new elite commercial varieties. With regard to the selection of genotypes with improved resources use efficiency, phenotyping root systems play an essential role which will be realised in the institute Plant Sciences (IBG-2). Deep phenotyping will be carried out to study a pre-breeding collection comprising around 50 adapted and exotic genotypes selected from a broad Brassica napus diversity set. The workplan includes phenotyping of the genotypes of the pre-breeding collection in agar-based rhizotrons (GROWSCREEN-Root) to characterise basic growth traits of root systems. Some genotypes selected on the agar-based analysis will be screened for nutrient use-efficiency in soil-based systems with a combination of different non-invasive technologies, including image-based methods (e.g. GROWSCREEN-Rhizo) and electrical resistance measurements. The Pre-BreedYield project will enable to develop and optimise phenotyping strategies and consequently help to enhance pre-breeding and subsequent breeding for new varieties for example with more efficient root systems.

Root phenotyping of rapeseedRoot phenotyping of rapeseed - representative image (insert, left) and color-coded image (insert, right) of a rapeseed plant grown in an agar-filled Petri dish with main root in green and lateral roots in red.

Additional Information


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sponsorship no.

BMBF Fz. 0315964D



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