The EGRAM project, coordinated by AMICA, brings together 20 partners from universities, government institutions and industry representing nine European countries (including sub-contractors) and Australia t develop methodologies to isolate and study useful genes from cereals and grasses; combining information generated on these species through understanding their comparative genome structure; and using rice as th central species for comparative genetic analysis and rice DNA libraries as entry points for gene isolation. Partners are grouped into four Sections with activities as follows: I Resources (4 partners) - The centre of the EGRAM project, providing a framework of mapped rice populations with free access to contiged large-insert rice libraries (YACs and BACs) to allow genome comparisons and gene cloning activities later in the EGRAM project and beyond. The partners of this Section will also map key probes from other EGRAM partners who want to locate genes of interest on th rice genome. The consensus cereal and grass maps will be extended to include meadow fescue, which i still poorly characterized at the molecular level. In addition,genes for 50 phenological, morphologic physiological and biochemical mutations in barley will be integrated onto the cereal molecular maps using collections of well-defined mutations, targeting each of the seven homoeologous Triticeae chromosome, Mutated seeds of at least nine major cereals and grasses will also be generated for future use. II Diseases (5 partners) - Studies on resistance (R) genes will identify, tag and clone R genes for rusts i wheat and rye grass, and several diseases of barley to test positional cloning methods and R gene sequence homologies in rice. Major R genes will be mapped as well as QTLs for durable and quantitative resistances
IIIStresses (8 partners) - A Section to target drought stress and cold stress, to identify possible candidate genes for QTL effects on traits determining beneficial responses of wheat, barley and maize to drought an frost. Multi-location testing will be used with crops representing different genetic backgrounds to assess th stability of QTL effects across environments and genetic backgrounds. QTLs determining drought stress and frost tolerance will be compared in wheat and barley. Stress-induced cDNA libraries will be made a sources of candidate genes, including drought-induced genes from a resurrection grass.
IV Quality (3 partners) - This Section will focus on identifying and mapping QTLs and major genes for grain quality in the cereals wheat, barley, maize and sorghum to construct a comprehensive cereal grain quality gene map. cDNAs identified in barley endosperm will be used as a source of likely candidate genes for grain quality characteristics.
In addition to a strong project management team, unifying activities will ensure EGRAM partners integrate their research effectively, both within the project and with other relevant research programmes:
A) Populations to be used by partners of all EGRAM Sections will be mapped with one or other sets EGRAM anchor probes, totalling at least 3no, to allow comparison of mapping populations both within an among species, so that QTL information can be cross-referenced by all partners.
B) All partners doing mapping work will screen DNA of the parents of two rice mapping populations so th; polymorphisms among the rice parents can be determined. This will facilitate more rapid mapping incoming probes by the Resources Section.
C) Partners will carry out comparative mapping to identify rice chromosome break points, within-species translocation break points, regions of inversions and duplications, and test for micro-synteny across species. D) Partners of EGRAM will collaborate with ESSA, a dicot sequencing project, to map Arabidopsis and ric ESTs having high homology in both genomes, to help integrate the monocot and dicot genome maps.
E) By comparing major genes and QTLs for the same traits across species, within and across trait section the EGRAM project will construct for the first time a comprehensive picture of the similarities an differences amongst major cereal and grass species in the genetic control of traits of agronomic importance. Project outputs strongly underpinning cereal breeding industries for wealth creation will be disseminated by News Bulletin, scientific publications, two symposia (to which industries are invited) and through the PIP. A Steering Committeee will oversee the projects work and ensure it is responsive to Industry's needs.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts
4411 RB Rilland
1432 Aas Nlh
NR4 7UH Norwich
94736 Nogent Sur Marne
CB2 2LQ Cambridge