The EuDicotMap programme is an integrated project designed to carry out the full range of research tasks associated with section 3.1.1.(Molecular genetic maps of the Biotechnology work programme). Its aims are to explore comparative mapping and exploit this across a broad spectrum of dicotyledonous plants both of economical and scientific importance. It is centered on the extensive use of Arabidopsis and rice to idendify highly conserved sequences within the ESTs and extends the exploitation of the ESSA project to a number of cultivated crops including Brassica, potato and aubergine, pea, Lotus and alfalfa, sunflower, lettuce and chicory, sugar beet and its wild relatives and Prunus.
The programme adresses four main issues:
a) Identification of conserved genes (at least 400) from EST databases, mapping them in Arabidopsis, and use as anchor loci in each major crop. This will provide a framework of common markers with identified functions as well as at least one dicotyledonous reference map.
b) Mapping long-range synteny within crop families using the Arabidopsis anchor loci, exchanging markers already mapped in one of the species as well as mapping additional less conserved genes of common interest.
c) Evaluating long-range synteny between Arabidopsis and the other crops and between the different families using the anchor markers and trying to define blocks of synteny which may allow reconstitution of the evolution of the various genomes.
d) Evaluating synteny at the microscale level with well characterized regions of the Arabidopsis genome. Demonstration of such synteny will open the way for a genome shuttling cloning strategy for genes of agronomical importance.
The expected deliverables are the following:
a) a publicly available database of the set of universal anchor probes, b) a series of highly saturated and comparable genetic maps for major European dicot crops,
c) a list of synteny blocks which should facilitate genome manipulation both by breeders and molecular geneticists,
d) infommation on specific loci, including genes for flowering, seed fommation and maturation and disease resistance, in a variety of crops.
In addition this work should shed new light on the evolution of the dicotyledon plant genomes, with respect to spreading of members of multigene families as we as ancient cryptic and recent polyploidy.
The research will involve fifteen leading European groups in their field, from 9 different countries, including one from Eastem Europe, two private industrial partners and two who have close association with a private company. This close association with private partners guarantees that a number of findings will be directly exploited by industry. In addition this effort should both increase seed company competitivity through the PIP and numerous unfommal contacts, and stimulate academic research, from which the competitivity of the enterprises in tum depends for the near future.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts