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Development of super-wheat crops by introgressing agronomic traits from related wild species

Objective

Wheat is one of the most important food crops in the world and understanding its genetics and genome organisation is of great value for genetics and plant breeding purposes. Despite is genome complexity (polyploidy), hexaploid and tetraploid wheats behave as diploids during meiosis. This means that each chromosome only recognises its identical (homologue) to pair and not the related chromosomes (homeologues). There are several pairing homologous (Ph) genes controlling chromosome pairing in wheat during meiosis. The strongest effect is associated with the Ph1 locus, which is located on the long arm on chromosome 5B. Ph1 appears to sense homology prior to the chromosomes coming into contact with each other at early meiosis. Thus, if the chromosomes are true homologues, they perfectly recognise each other, chromatin remodelling is synchronized and allows pairing and recombination to occur. If the chromosomes are homoeologous (related), remodelling is not synchronized and the chromosomes fail to pair and recombine. In the absence of Ph1, all chromosomes can remodel without the requirement for the presence of an identical or near identical chromosome, and this increases the chance of pairing between related chromosomes in addition to pairing between true homologues. In this project we want to analyse deeper this Ph1 behaviour and we also want to exploit ph1 mutants as a tool for wheat breeding programs to promote inter-specific recombination between related wild species. In fact, Hordeum chilense (wild barley with interesting agronomic traits for wheat breeding) introgressions will be developed into durum wheat to transfer desirable agronomic traits from this wild barley into wheat, like resistance to diseases or the increment in carotene content. Introgression lines will be crosses with ph1 mutants to promote inter-specific recombination H. chilense-wheat, reduce the size of the H. chilense chromosome fragment. New wheat varieties will be generated.

Field of science

  • /natural sciences/biological sciences/genetics and heredity/chromosome
  • /natural sciences/biological sciences/genetics and heredity/heredity

Call for proposal

ERC-2009-StG
See other projects for this call

Funding Scheme

ERC-SG - ERC Starting Grant

Host institution

AGENCIA ESTATAL CONSEJO SUPERIOR DEINVESTIGACIONES CIENTIFICAS
Address
Calle Serrano 117
28006 Madrid
Spain
Activity type
Research Organisations
EU contribution
€ 600 000
Principal investigator
Maria-Pilar Prieto (Dr.)
Administrative Contact
Ana Maria De La Fuente (Ms.)

Beneficiaries (1)

AGENCIA ESTATAL CONSEJO SUPERIOR DEINVESTIGACIONES CIENTIFICAS
Spain
EU contribution
€ 600 000
Address
Calle Serrano 117
28006 Madrid
Activity type
Research Organisations
Principal investigator
Maria-Pilar Prieto (Dr.)
Administrative Contact
Ana Maria De La Fuente (Ms.)