Location: Sunflower and Plant Biology Research
Project Number: 3060-21000-039-08-T
Project Type: Trust Fund Cooperative Agreement
Start Date: Mar 15, 2010
End Date: Dec 31, 2014
To develop an efficient protocol for doubled haploid production in sunflower that can be adopted by seed companies with modest laboratory facilities and personnel with some training in tissue culture techniques.
A postdoctoral research associate, hired by North Dakota State University, Department of Plant Sciences, will conduct the research in collaboration with the ARS Principal Investigator who serves as the Research Coordinator. Under the research plan, two approaches will be undertaken simultaneously by the postdoctoral associate, both approaches having precedents in other crops. (1) A protocol will be developed for doubled haploid production by extraction of anthers from sunflower florets at an optimum stage of development and the optimum tissue culture media and environmental conditions will be determined for induction of embryos, germination to plantlets, chromosome doubling, confirmation of haploid production, and growth to a mature, homozygous plant. (2) The potential for sunflower haploid production by fertilization of sunflower ovules with foreign pollen will be explored. Potential sources of foreign pollen will be identified from the family Compositae, but outside of the genus Helianthus, and tested for their ability to induce haploid production in sunflower. Special attention will be given to foreign pollen sources that are easy to grow, maintain, and have prolific pollen production. Optimum tissue culture conditions for growth of fertilized embryos to mature plants will be determined.