Location: Sunflower and Plant Biology Research
Project Number: 3060-21000-043-09-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement
Start Date: Aug 30, 2017
End Date: Aug 29, 2020
(1) Assess genotypic and phenotypic variation in a non-crop relative of cultivated sunflower, and (2) Determine the effects of intraspecific variation on the utility of selected species.
Several non-crop composites (Asteraceae) are useful outside of conventional agriculture. For example, Echinacea and Maximilian sunflower are both used in conservation plantings, specifically as forage for pollinators. Germplasm of known provenance from a selected non-crop composite will be collected from appropriate sources (USDA-GRIN, commercial seed sources, wild populations) and evaluated for genotypic and phenotypic variation. In addition to comparing genetic diversity within and among populations / provenances, plants will be evaluated for specific phenotypic traits related to their non-crop value (e.g., nectar production or bee visitation as measures of value to pollinators). Where possible, existing knowledge of genotype-phenotype relationships in sunflower will be used to complement trait evaluation, along with existing genetics tools and resources for sunflower (e.g., HeliaGENE).