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Title: A case for developmental genetics to increase yield of oilseed rape
Author: Bruser, Marie
ISNI:       0000 0004 7227 4799
Awarding Body: University of East Anglia
Current Institution: University of East Anglia
Date of Award: 2017
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B. napus is a widely-grown crop and its uses are widespread. The seeds used mostly for oil production are contained within cylindrical fruits called pods. These strongly resemble the well-studied fruiting structures of the model plant Arabidopsis, in which patterning genes, hormones and cellular growth dynamics are well characterized. The ovary of the fruit is partitioned into two valves separated by the replum and the valve margin, which is required for fruit opening and seed dispersal. On the inside are the ovules, which post-fertilization develop into seeds. Of benefit for B. napus crop improvement would be the production of larger seeds as well as more seeds per pod. The aim of this work was to improve yield of oilseed rape by targeting fruit growth. To this end, the growth of the B. napus pod was described in detail. This formed the basis of the study as it is imperative to understand the entire fruiting structure before attempting any improvements. Fruit length correlated consistently with seed number, making it a valuable trait to study. A correlation between stomata density and fruit length was investigated using several members of the Brassicaceae. Next, to identify new genes contributing to pod growth, a genome-wide association study (GWAS) was carried out on a diverse B. napus population. This yielded DPb, a cell-cycle gene. Further analysis lead to the identification of TSN1, a gene with similar expression levels as the former. Functions of the DP/E2F family with TSN1 and TSN2 were then studied in detail in the Arabidopsis fruit. Results uncovered an overlapping function in seed development and fruit growth of these previously not associated genes. Overall, this work thus demonstrates how findings in a crop species can be translated to the model to increase the fundamental knowledge of biological processes.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available