1a. Objectives (from AD-416)
(1) Identify and functionally characterize genes central to the adaptation of plant to water-deficit and thermal stresses. (2) Discover and/or develop germplasm enhanced for stress resistance traits. (3) Identify and characterize water-deficit and thermal stress-responding promoters for using the controlled expression of stress resistance genes and for testing of a user-friendly plant stress reporter system for crop management.
1b. Approach (from AD-416)
A multidisciplinary research approach will be utilized because of the complexity of the problems to be addressed. Genes will be identified via expression databases and mutational analyses. Physiological and molecular characterizations will be used to identify germplasm with enhanced stress tolerances. Transformational technologies will be used in the development of plant with enhanced stress tolerances and plant with stress responsive reporter genes.
3. Progress Report
This study evaluated the U.S. mini-core peanut germplasm collection for diversity in abiotic stress response. One-hundred twenty-one genetic accessions were screened under glasshouse and field conditions for response to thermal, water-deficit, and salt stresses. Selected accessions showing contrasting phenotypes, both tolerant and sensitive, were used for functional genomics studies to study underlying genetic and biochemical mechanisms associated with the observed stress phenotypic response. A number of candidate genes and pathways have been identified and are targeted for manipulation using genetic engineering with the goal of improving stress tolerance and furthering our understanding of abiotic stress responses. Additionally, selected tolerant genotypes are currently being used in conventional breeding programs at Texas Tech University, Texas AgriLife Research, and New Mexico State University. We are currently preparing several manuscripts detailing our findings. ADODR monitors progress through review of required reports, including the annual and final financial/performance reports.