Location: Sunflower and Plant Biology Research
Project Number: 3060-21000-039-11-N
Project Type: Non-Funded Cooperative Agreement
Start Date: Aug 1, 2010
End Date: Dec 31, 2014
The objective of the project is 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.
Two approaches will be undertaken simultaneously by the postdoctoral affiliate, both approaches having precedents in other crops. (1) Anther culture: C. C. Jan initiated work on anther culture in the 1980s, but put it aside when other projects became higher priority. Dr. Jan envisions that the postdoctoral affiliate would develop a protocol for extraction of anthers from sunflower florets at an optimum stage of development and determining optimum tissue culture media and environmental conditions for induction of embryos, germination to plantlets, chromosome doubling, confirmation of haploid production, and growth to a mature, homozygous plant. (2) Foreign pollen: Under the direction Lili Qi and Brent Hulke, the postdoctoral affiliate will explore the potential for sunflower haploid production by fertilization of sunflower ovules with foreign pollen (as is done with wheat by fertilization by corn pollen, in which the ovule is fertilized, but the corn chromosomes are eventually eliminated, leaving a haploid wheat embryo that can be doubled). The postdoctoral affiliate will identify potential sources of foreign pollen from the family Compositae, but outside of the genus Helianthus, and test them 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.