Location: Sunflower and Plant Biology ResearchTitle: Sunflower genetic, genomic, and ecological resources Author
Submitted to: Molecular Ecology Resources
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/17/2012
Publication Date: 1/2/2013
Citation: Kane, N.C., Burke, J.M., Marek, L., Seiler, G., Vear, F., Baute, G., Knapp, S.J., Vincourt, P., Rieseberg, L.H. 2013. Sunflower genetic, genomic, and ecological resources. Molecular Ecology Resources. 13:10-20. Interpretive Summary: Sunflower has long been the subject of genetic research and breeding, but it is also emerging as an increasingly important experimental model for ecological and evolutionary studies. There are various attributes of the wild and domesticated sunflower that make them valuable for ecological experimentation, such as the tremendous variation in the genus, and the diversity of speciation mechanisms and barriers to gene flow that makes sunflower ideally suited for understanding speciation and divergence. Several public sunflower gene bank collections of wild and domesticated sunflower are available that have been used to enable rapid advances in ecological and evolutionary genetics studies. The seed collections include the USDA-ARS National Plant Germplasm System, INRA (France), and genomic and EST sequences, mapping populations, genetic markers, and genetic physical maps. As sequencing costs decrease and other resources are improved, sunflower ecological genetics are poised to answer key classic questions in ecology, evolutionary, and population genetics.
Technical Abstract: Long a major focus of genetic research and breeding, sunflowers (Helianthus) are emerging as an increasingly important experimental system for ecological and evolutionary studies. Here we review the various attributes of wild and domesticated sunflowers that make them valuable for ecological experimentation and describe the numerous publicly-available resources that have enabled rapid advances in ecological and evolutionary genetics. The latter include numerous seed collections available from germplasm centers at the USDA and INRA, genomic and EST sequences, mapping populations, genetic markers, genetic and physical maps, and other forward-and reverse genetic tools. We also discuss some of the key evolutionary, genetic and ecological questions being addressed in sunflower, as well as gaps in our knowledge and promising areas for future research.