Project description:affy_mildew_sunflower - A quantitative resistance of sunflower to downy mildew (Plasmopara halstedii) has been mapped on LG10 (Vear et al., 2008). Is this quantitative resistance involving novel biological mechanisms? Compare the pattern of expression of specific resistances harboured by the Pl5/Pl2 alleles and the quantitative resistance harboured by the favourable allele at the mapped QTL, during compatible and incompatible interactions in the pathosystem Helianthus annuus / Plasmopara halstedii Overall design: 60 arrays - SUNFLOWER; normal vs disease comparison
Project description:Crop wild relatives (CWR) are a rich source of genetic diversity for crop improvement. Combining ecogeographic and phylogenetic techniques can inform both conservation and breeding. Geographic occurrence, bioclimatic, and biophysical data were used to predict species distributions, range overlap and niche occupancy in 36 taxa closely related to sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.). Taxa lacking comprehensive ex situ conservation were identified. The predicted distributions for 36 Helianthus taxa identified substantial range overlap, range asymmetry and niche conservatism. Specific taxa (e.g., Helianthus deblis Nutt., Helianthus anomalus Blake, and Helianthus divaricatus L.) were identified as targets for traits of interest, particularly for abiotic stress tolerance, and adaptation to extreme soil properties. The combination of techniques demonstrates the potential for publicly available ecogeographic and phylogenetic data to facilitate the identification of possible sources of abiotic stress traits for plant breeding programs. Much of the primary genepool (wild H. annuus) occurs in extreme environments indicating that introgression of targeted traits may be relatively straightforward. Sister taxa in Helianthus have greater range overlap than more distantly related taxa within the genus. This adds to a growing body of literature suggesting that in plants (unlike some animal groups), geographic isolation may not be necessary for speciation.
Project description:Patterns of genetic variation in crops are the result of selection and demographic changes that occurred during their domestication and improvement. In many cases, we have an incomplete picture of the origin of crops in the context of their wild progenitors, particularly with regard to the processes producing observed levels of standing genetic variation. Here, we analyzed sequence diversity in cultivated sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.) and its wild progenitor (common sunflower, also H. annuus) to reconstruct phylogeographic relationships and population genetic/demographic patterns across sunflower. In common sunflower, south-north patterns in the distribution of nucleotide diversity and lineage splitting indicate a history of rapid postglacial range expansion from southern refugia. Cultivated sunflower accessions formed a clade, nested among wild populations from the Great Plains, confirming a single domestication event in central North America. Furthermore, cultivated accessions sorted by market type (i.e., oilseed vs. confectionery) rather than breeding pool, recapitulating the secondary development of oil-rich cultivars during its breeding history. Across sunflower, estimates of nucleotide diversity and effective population sizes suggest that cultivated sunflower underwent significant population bottlenecks following its establishment ~5000 years ago. The patterns inferred here corroborate those from previous studies of sunflower domestication, and provide a comprehensive overview of its evolutionary history.