THE RESEARCH SHOULD CONTRIBUTE TO THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A NEW METHODOLOGY FOR THE GENETIC IMPROVEMENT OF CEREALS. IF SUCCESSFUL, SIGNIFICANT MODIFICATIONS COULD BE MADE TO BARLEY AND WHEAT WHICH, IN THE LONG TERM, WOULD EXPRESS PROPERTIES SPECIFICALLY ADAPTED TO THE REQUIREMENTS OF EUROPEAN AGRICULTURE AND TO THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A NEW INTERFACE BETWEEN AGRICULTURE AND INDUSTRY.
New techniques of manipulation of the genome of higher plants are being developed and adapted to plants of agronomic importance. In an integrated approach, the following cell biotechnology methods were developed:
regeneration systems from single cells to plants;
introgression of foreign genetic material via protoplast fusion;
isolation of single chromosomes;
selection of mutant cell lines and plants;
elaboration of direct gene transfer techniques to introduce deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) into plant following these manipulations;
application of methods developed with a model system (essentially Nicotiana plumbaginifolia) to the crop species Solanum sp, tomato and cereals.
Using these techniques the following results were obtained: regeneration of plants from explants of various crops; production of useful somaclonal variants of tomato and potato; isolation, culture and regeneration from protoplasts (single, wall free cells), especially in the case of barley for which green plantlets have been obtained; production of both symmetric and asymmetric (partial) somatic hybrids, using both chemical fusion and electrofusion.
Such methods were used to introduce useful agronomic characters (virus resistance genes in potato) and to develop asymmetric hybrids where only a limited amount of the donor genome is present. Further research involved the direct transfer of genes into protoplasts (DGT) by electroporation and chemical treatment, associated with transient expression study and analysis of the stable integration of the introduced genes. Techniques for the isolation of micronuclei as well as methods for transfer of organelles by microinjection were also perfected.
THE RESEARCH WILL BE CARRIED OUT IN THE FRAMEWORK OF AN INTEGRATED EFFORT BY THE MAX PLANCK INSTITUTE AND THE UNIVERSITY OF PARIS-SUD.
THE CONTRIBUTION OF THE CONTRACTANT TO THIS JOINT EFFORT WILL ESSENTIALLY INVOLVE THE REGENERATION OF WHEAT AND BARLEY CELLS THROUGH THE STUDY AND DEFINITION OF CONDITIONS LIKELY TO CONTROL THE DIFFERENTIATION OF PROTOPLASTS INTO MATURE PLANTS.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts