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ARS Home » Plains Area » Fargo, North Dakota » Edward T. Schafer Agricultural Research Center » Sunflower and Plant Biology Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #316858

Research Project: Sunflower Genetic Improvement with Genes from Wild Crop Relatives and Domesticated Sunflower

Location: Sunflower and Plant Biology Research

Title: A pipeline strategy for grain crop domestication

Author
item DEHAAN, LE - The Land Institute
item VAN TASSEL, DAVID - The Land Institute
item ANDERSON, JIM - University Of Minnesota
item ASSELIN, SEAN - University Of Manitoba
item BAUTE, GREG - University Of British Columbia
item CATTANI, DOUG - University Of Manitoba
item CULMAN, STEVEN - The Ohio State University
item DORN, KEVIN - University Of Minnesota
item Hulke, Brent
item KANTAR, MICHAEL - University Of Minnesota
item Larson, Steven
item MARKS, DAVID - University Of Minnesota
item MILLER, ALLISON - St Louis University
item POLAND, JESSE - Kansas State University
item RAVETTA, DAMIAN - University Of Buenos Aires
item RUDE, EMILY - University Of Wisconsin
item RYAN, MATTHEW - Cornell University - New York
item WYSE, DONALD - University Of Minnesota
item ZHANG, XIAOFEI - University Of Minnesota

Submitted to: Crop Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/5/2016
Publication Date: 4/29/2016
Citation: Dehaan, L.R., Van Tassel, D.L., Anderson, J.A., Asselin, S.R., Barnes, R., Baute, G.J., Cattani, D.J., Culman, S.W., Dorn, K.M., Hulke, B.S., Kantar, M., Larson, S., Marks, M.D., Miller, A.J., Poland, J., Ravetta, D.A., Rude, E., Ryan, M.R., Wyse, D., Zhang, X. 2016. A pipeline strategy for grain crop domestication. Crop Science. 56:917-930.

Interpretive Summary: In recent decades, in the interest of diversifying the global food system, improving human nutrition, or making agriculture more sustainable, there have been many proposals for domesticating or completing the domestication of wild plants or semi-domesticated “orphan” crops. However, very few new crops have been fully domesticated. Many wild plants have traits preventing their production or consumption that could be costly and slow to change. Others may have fortuitous pre-adaptations that make them easier to work with or feasible as specialty (albeit low yielding) crops. Here we propose a “pipeline” approach with attrition expected as species passing through the pipeline are occasionally eliminated. We list criteria for ranking candidates to help enrich the starting pool with the more pre-adapted, promising species. We also discuss strategies for prioritizing initial research efforts once the candidates have been selected: developing higher value products and services from the crop, increasing the potential supply of the crop, and focusing on overcoming traits that make the plant unattractive to researchers, farmers, and consumers in the short term regardless of potential value or seed yield. New-crop case studies are presented to demonstrate that wild species’ limitations and potential may only be revealed during the early phases of domestication. Candidates dropped from the pipeline in early phases should be viewed not as failures but as evidence of dispassionate evaluation. In other examples, serious barriers to increasing yield potential, such as low seed mass and low seed number per head were overcome relatively efficiently, leading to increased confidence, farmer collaboration, and program expansion.

Technical Abstract: In recent decades, in the interest of diversifying the global food system, improving human nutrition, or making agriculture more sustainable, there have been many proposals for domesticating or completing the domestication of wild plants or semi-domesticated “orphan” crops. However, very few new crops have been fully domesticated. Many wild plants have traits preventing their production or consumption that could be costly and slow to change. Others may have fortuitous pre-adaptations that make them easier to work with or feasible as specialty (albeit low yielding) crops. Here we propose a “pipeline” approach with attrition expected as species passing through the pipeline are occasionally eliminated. We list criteria for ranking candidates to help enrich the starting pool with the more pre-adapted, promising species. We also discuss strategies for prioritizing initial research efforts once the candidates have been selected: developing higher value products and services from the crop, increasing the potential supply of the crop, and focusing on overcoming traits that make the plant unattractive to researchers, farmers, and consumers in the short term regardless of potential value or seed yield. New-crop case studies are presented to demonstrate that wild species’ limitations and potential may only be revealed during the early phases of domestication. Candidates dropped from the pipeline in early phases should be viewed not as failures but as evidence of dispassionate evaluation. In other examples, serious barriers to increasing yield potential, such as low seed mass and low seed number per head were overcome relatively efficiently, leading to increased confidence, farmer collaboration, and program expansion.