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ARS Home » Plains Area » Fort Collins, Colorado » Center for Agricultural Resources Research » Soil Management and Sugarbeet Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #366268

Research Project: Development of Sugar Beet Germplasm Enhanced for Resistance to Important and Emerging Plant Pathogens

Location: Soil Management and Sugarbeet Research

Title: A large-scale multi-faceted screen identifies crucial domestication traits needed to create a new ecofriendly cash cover crop

item CHOPRA, RATAN - University Of Minnesota
item JOHNSON, EVAN - University Of Minnesota
item EMENECKER, RYAN - University Of Minnesota
item CAHOON, EDGAR - University Of Nebraska
item LYONS, JOE - Arvegenix, Inc
item KLIEBENSTEIN, DANIEL - Uc Davis Medical Center
item DANIELS, ERIN - University Of Minnesota
item Dorn, Kevin
item ESFAHANIAN, MALIHEH - Illinois State University
item FOLSTAD, NICOLE - University Of Minnesota
item FRELS, KATHERINE - University Of Minnesota
item MCGINN, MICHAELA - Illinois State University
item OTT, MATHEW - University Of Minnesota
item GALLAHER, CYNTHIA - University Of Minnesota
item ALTENDORF, KAYLA - University Of Minnesota
item BERROYER, ALEXANDRA - Illinois State University
item ISMAIL, BAREAM - University Of Minnesota
item ANDERSON, JAMES - University Of Minnesota
item WYSE, DONALD - University Of Minnesota
item UMASLOV, TIM - Arvegenix, Inc
item SEDBROOK, JOHN - Illinois State University
item MARKS, DAVID - University Of Minnesota

Submitted to: Nature Food
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/12/2019
Publication Date: 1/13/2020
Citation: Chopra, R., Johnson, E., Emenecker, R., Cahoon, E., Lyons, J., Kliebenstein, D., Daniels, E., Dorn, K.M., Esfahanian, M., Folstad, N., Frels, K., McGinn, M., Ott, M., Gallaher, C., Altendorf, K., Berroyer, A., Ismail, B., Anderson, J., Wyse, D., Umaslov, T., Sedbrook, J., Marks, D.M. 2020. A large-scale multi-faceted screen identifies crucial domestication traits needed to create a new ecofriendly cash cover crop. Nature Food.

Interpretive Summary: Field pennycress is a wild plant species that is being developed as a potential new winter cover crop that can be planted within the corn-soybean system which provides both environmental benefits like water and soil protection, but an additional economic output for growers in the form of a harvestable oilseed. The process of domesticating a plant species, or removing undesirable traits from a wild plant to create a crop has historically happened over the course of thousands of years. In the early 2010s, the process of domesticating pennycress began to target the removal of certain undesirable traits like seed pod shattering and improving oil quality. Using recent advances in genomic technologies, we have leveraged the extensive knowledge of how these traits are controlled at the genetic level in the model plant species Arabidopsis thaliana to create and identify new pennycress lines harboring favorable variants of these traits have begun combining them together to form the first generation of domesticated pennycress.

Technical Abstract: When grown as a winter cover crop the oilseed species Thlaspi arvense (pennycress) has the potential to provide new sources of food and bioproducts, while allowing the sustained use of current farm practices. Pennycress has only recently been removed from the wild. Historically, the domestication of wild species has taken hundreds to thousands of years. By making use of large-scale high-throughput comparative gene and phenotype analyses along with recently developed technological tools it has been possible to greatly speed up the domestication of pennycress. Importantly, we have taken advantage of extensive gene and phenotype knowledge in related Arabidopsis to guide the identification of crucial traits needed for the domestication of pennycress. These traits include early maturity, reduced pod shatter, reduced seed glucosinolates, and improved oil fatty acid composition. Whole genome sequencing and comparative genomics facilitated the identification of the causative mutations for responsible for each of these traits. These causative mutations have been used to develop molecular probes to promote the stacking these traits into single lines. Progress is rapidly being made to develop the first generation of a new domesticated crop that has potential to be grown on tens of millions of hectares without displacing traditional crops.