Omics basierte Strategien zur Erhöhung des Ölgehaltes im Raps

Koordinator: – ()


Omics Based Strategies for Increasing the Seed Oil Content in Rapeseed

Coordinator: – (Institut)

Project description

Brassica species play an important role in global agriculture and horticulture and contribute both to the economies and health of populations around the world. During the last decades, demand for vegetable oils as food, non food and bio fuel has grown significantly. This came about through improved agronomic developments, better processing methods and improvements in the varieties available - particularly oilseed rape (Brassica napus). Approximately 50 to 60% of the current annual seed yield increase of 1 to 2% is due to genetics, and further significant increases of the oil content (the most important component of the complex trait oil yield) are required to boost rapeseed oil production. This bears in mind that the perspective for a general extension of the production area is very limited. In Europe the area of arable land is decreasing, whilst the booming demand for rapeseed oils continues to grow. Rapeseed oil, which can account for up to 50% of the total dry weight of the seed, is used for both nutritional and industrial purposes - the last particularly due to the bio diesel development directive in EU. Therefore, there is an increasing pressure to grow high oil yielding varieties.

The proposed project is based on the combination of advanced genetic resources available in Brassica napus with cutting-edge genomic technologies and precise analyses of factors affecting the oil content in B. napus and Arabidopsis. The Arabidopsis mutants and the Brassica populations already developed by the participating groups and the speed to obtain new mapping populations based on F2/F3 and DH-generations allow choosing the best-suited biological material for these studies. Rapid genotyping of new material will be facilitated by implementing well known genetic technologies that can be efficiently used, thanks to the knowledge developed by the academic and industrial partners.

The research plan contains four interrelated themes notably:

WP1: Phenotyping and genotyping of different genetic material groups 
WP2: Mapping of QTL and eQTL responsible for oil content and identification of candidate genes involved in oil metabolism and compartmental deposition (endosperm and embryo) 
WP3: Identification of chromosomal segments and genetic localisation of QTL and eQTL 
WP4: Trait-marker association studies for verification of candidate genes and development of molecular markers.

Candidate genes for the trait oil content will be identified in Arabidopsis thaliana with a special focus on the role of the endosperm and embryo, and flux mechanisms between these tissues. Expression QTL (eQTL) analysis will be performed in Arabidopsis thaliana to identify novel candidate genes which might play a role for oil content in seed development.

Association mapping and finally a meta-analysis based on in-house and public data collections will provide an additional tool to verify the significance of specific alleles for the expression of the trait under investigation. The application of these genomic tools will enable us not only to determine in which molecular pathways the QTL and eQTL are involved, but also identify candidate genes that underlie such QTL.

A tightly designed networking between the partners of this proposal according to their respective expertise is warranted. Each work package and the partners involved in are conceived to interact with each other and with the other partners and work packages.

The overall coordination of the programme will be conducted by NPZ. According to the interdisciplinary network of the project, each partner has assumed responsibility for an activity within the programme; some partners are involved in multiple activities. The proposed research will bring together a large knowledge of the Arabidopsis genomic and genetic resources devoted to dissect the molecular base of the effectors of oil content, and combine them to exploit the natural variation of Brassica crop plants in marker assisted breeding. The present programme is based on the complementary and synergistic expertises of the different groups in the development of genetic materials, genomic tools and phenotypic resources. The exchanges of materials, data and techniques are a major requirement to efficiently obtain synergistic information from experimental populations. The industrial partners together with partners 6 and 7 will provide the biological and genetic Brassica expertise and will benefit from the application of new markers developed based on Arabidopsis data and candidate genes, and by obtaining new insight into the genomic structure of Brassica napus. Furthermore the industrial partners can make use of technologies available in the various groups, which include data processing. The information generated in this project will not only be useful for the German rapeseed breeders, but also for the scientific community.


Fördersumme: 2.390.986,00 €

Laufzeit 01.09.2007 – 31.08.2010