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Title: Integrating plant ontogeny and structure in Brassica napus L. I. Forward Phenomics

item Jaradat, Abdullah

Submitted to: Euphytica
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/19/2018
Publication Date: 7/26/2018
Citation: Jaradat, A.A. 2018. Integrating plant ontogeny and structure in Brassica napus L. I. Forward Phenomics. Euphytica. 214:141.

Interpretive Summary: Increasing yield potential of rapeseed as an industrial oilseed crop is a strategic objective of American agriculture. Therefore, defining what traits may be included in future breeding and selection programs is important to conduct accurate, timely and speedy evaluation of large numbers of germplasm for cultivar development. A field experiment was conducted to evaluate a large collection of rapeseed germplasm for adaptation and for agronomic traits related to oil content. A number of plant and seed descriptors were selected for easy, rapid and accurate evaluation that can be used to identify adapted accessions with high oil content. New and adapted cultivars of rapeseed can be selected from this germplasm and are expected to contribute to higher oil yield of this economically important crop.

Technical Abstract: Increasing yield potential of Brassica napus L. as an industrial oilseed crop is a strategic objective of American agriculture, therefore, defining what phenotypic traits may be included in its future breeding programs is needed for its development as a viable oilseed crop in the Upper Midwest of the USA. Forward Phenomics was used in this study to strike a balance between accuracy, timing and speed in capturing multi-level, spatiotemporal data at different scales of integration. Quantitative and categorical data digitally recorded, measured or scored on whole canopies, single plants, single leaves, and single siliques; and on random mature seed samples of 600 entries in a phenotyping nursery of B. napus were used to identify plant traits that can integrate the effect of time (ontogeny) and space (architecture) on oil%, and to develop a multilevel-multitrait model based on field and laboratory characterization of phenotypic and agronomic data while accounting for fixed and random sources of variation when interpreting components of phenotypic variance. A combination of adaptive traits to environmental and edaphic conditions in the upper Midwest of the US was identified and included tolerance to low temperatures during germination and early seedling growth, fast emergence, cold tolerant, and early flowering. Genotypes with large biomass (>6.0 Mg ha-1), seed (>3.5 Mg ha-1) oil (>1.75 Mg ha-1) and protein (>0.75 Mg ha-1) yield were identified; and a subset of adaptive traits may be combined in a selection index in order to develop a plant ideotype for B. napus.