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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: GENETIC ENHANCEMENT OF SOYBEAN SEED VALUE BY BIOTECHNOLOGY Title: Elemental profiles reflect plant adaptations to the environment

Authors
item Baxter, Ivan
item Dilkes, Brian -

Submitted to: Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: May 30, 2012
Publication Date: June 29, 2012
Citation: Baxter, I.R., Dilkes, B. 2012. Elemental profiles reflect plant adaptations to the environment. Science. 336:1661-1663.

Interpretive Summary: Elemental concentrations in plants are determined by interactions with the soil. Soil is one of the key environmental influences (along with water, light, gas and other organisms) of plant success and drivers of speciation and adaptation. Environmental conditions influence common measures of adaptation and hinder the discovery of genes affecting plant responses to the environment. Genome-enabled science and improvements to analytical equipment have begun to identify genes responsible for elemental accumulation. These discoveries demonstrated that many cellular, biochemical and physiological processes important for adaptation alter elemental accumulation in plant tissues. It is now feasible to identify genes underlying homeostasis and environmentally responsive traits by integrating a multi-element profile with genetic and environmental data. We propose that to leverage advances in genomics and analytical technology, a change in approach is necessary. Soon, the genome sequence of every plant in an experiment will be known, so a model-based approach that integrates phenotype, genotype and environment is the best way forward.

Technical Abstract: Elemental concentrations in plants are determined by interactions with the soil. Soil is one of the key environmental influences (along with water, light, gas and other organisms) of plant success and drivers of speciation and adaptation. Environmental conditions influence common measures of adaptation and hinder the discovery of genes affecting plant responses to the environment. Genome-enabled science and improvements to analytical equipment have begun to identify genes responsible for elemental accumulation. These discoveries demonstrated that many cellular, biochemical and physiological processes important for adaptation alter elemental accumulation in plant tissues. It is now feasible to identify genes underlying homeostasis and environmentally responsive traits by integrating a multi-element profile with genetic and environmental data. We propose that to leverage advances in genomics and analytical technology, a change in approach is necessary. Soon, the genome sequence of every plant in an experiment will be known, so a model-based approach that integrates phenotype, genotype and environment is the best way forward.

Last Modified: 10/19/2014