Publications by authors named "Paul Eckermann"

8 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Genetic factors associated with favourable pollinator traits in the wheat cultivar Piko.

Funct Plant Biol 2021 03;48(4):434-447

School of Agriculture, Food and Wine, University of Adelaide, Plant Genomics Centre, Hartley Grove, Urrbrae, SA 5064, Australia.

Hybrid breeding in wheat has the potential to boost yields. An efficient hybrid seed production system requires elite pollinators; however, such germplasm is limited among modern cultivars. Piko, a winter wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) cultivar, has been identified as a superior pollinator and has been used in Europe. Piko has favourable pollinator traits for anther extrusion, anther length, pollen mass and hybrid seed set. However, the genetic factors responsible for Piko's favourable traits are largely unknown. Here, we report on the genetic analysis of a Piko-derived F2 mapping population. We confirmed that Piko's Rht-D1a allele for tall stature is associated with large anthers and high anther extrusion. However, Rht-D1 was not found to be associated with anther filament length, confirmed by near isogenic lines. Piko's photoperiod sensitive Ppd-B1b allele shows an association with increased spike length, more spikelets and spike architecture traits, while the insensitive Ppd-B1a allele is linked with high anther extrusion and larger anthers. We identified an anther extrusion quantitative trait locus (QTL) on chromosome 6A that showed significantly biased transmission of the favourable Piko allele amongst F2 progenies. The Piko allele is completely absent in the distal 6AS region and the central 6A region revealed a significantly lower ratio (<8%) of F2 with homozygous Piko alleles. Our study provided further evidence for the effects of Rht-D1 and Ppd-B1 loci on multiple pollinator traits and a novel anther extrusion QTL that exhibits segregation distortion.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/FP20181DOI Listing
March 2021

Novel Alleles for Combined Drought and Heat Stress Tolerance in Wheat.

Front Plant Sci 2019 31;10:1800. Epub 2020 Jan 31.

School of Agriculture, Food and Wine, The University of Adelaide, Adelaide, SA, Australia.

Drought and heat waves commonly co-occur in many wheat-growing regions causing significant crop losses. The identification of stress associated quantitative trait loci, particularly those for yield, is problematic due to their association with plant phenology and the high genetic × environment interaction. Here we studied a panel of 315 diverse, spring type accessions of bread wheat () in pots in a semi-controlled environment under combined drought and heat stress over 2 years. Importantly, we treated individual plants according to their flowering time. We found 134 out of the 145 identified loci for grain weight that were not associated with either plant phenology or plant height. The majority of loci uncovered here were novel, with favorable alleles widespread in Asian and African landraces providing opportunities for their incorporation into modern varieties through breeding. Using residual heterozygosity in lines from a nested association mapping population, we were able to rapidly develop near-isogenic lines for important target loci. One target locus on chromosome 6A contributed to higher grain weight, harvest index, thousand kernel weight, and grain number under drought and heat stress in field conditions consistent with allelic effects demonstrated in the genome-wide association study.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpls.2019.01800DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7005056PMC
January 2020

Effects of Rht-B1 and Ppd-D1 loci on pollinator traits in wheat.

Theor Appl Genet 2019 Jul 21;132(7):1965-1979. Epub 2019 Mar 21.

School of Agriculture, Food and Wine, Plant Genomics Centre, University of Adelaide, Hartley Grove, Urrbrae, SA, 5064, Australia.

Key Message: Elite wheat pollinators are critical for successful hybrid breeding. We identified Rht-B1 and Ppd-D1 loci affecting multiple pollinator traits and therefore represent major targets for improving hybrid seed production. Hybrid breeding has a great potential to significantly boost wheat yields. Ideal male pollinators would be taller in stature, contain many spikelets well-spaced along the spike and exhibit high extrusion of large anthers. Most importantly, flowering time would match with that of the female parent. Available genetic resources for developing an elite wheat pollinator are limited, and the genetic basis for many of these traits is largely unknown. Here, we report on the genetic analysis of pollinator traits using biparental mapping populations. We identified two anther extrusion QTLs of medium effect, one on chromosome 1BL and the other on 4BS coinciding with the semi-dwarfing Rht-B1 locus. The effect of Rht-B1 alleles on anther extrusion is genotype dependent, while tall plant Rht-B1a allele is consistently associated with large anthers. Multiple QTLs were identified at the Ppd-D1 locus for anther length, spikelet number and spike length, with the photoperiod-sensitive Ppd-D1b allele associated with favourable pollinator traits in the populations studied. We also demonstrated that homeoloci, Rht-D1 and Ppd-B1, influence anther length among other traits. These results suggest that combinations of Rht-B1 and Ppd-D1 alleles control multiple pollinator traits and should be major targets of hybrid wheat breeding programs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00122-019-03329-wDOI Listing
July 2019

Genome-wide association mapping of grain yield in a diverse collection of spring wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) evaluated in southern Australia.

PLoS One 2019 4;14(2):e0211730. Epub 2019 Feb 4.

Australian Centre for Plant Functional Genomics and School of Agriculture, Food and Wine, Waite Research Institute, The University of Adelaide, Glen Osmond, SA, Australia.

Wheat landraces, wild relatives and other 'exotic' accessions are important sources of new favorable alleles. The use of those exotic alleles is facilitated by having access to information on the association of specific genomic regions with desirable traits. Here, we conducted a genome-wide association study (GWAS) using a wheat panel that includes landraces, synthetic hexaploids and other exotic wheat accessions to identify loci that contribute to increases in grain yield in southern Australia. The 568 accessions were grown in the field during the 2014 and 2015 seasons and measured for plant height, maturity, spike length, spike number, grain yield, plant biomass, HI and TGW. We used the 90K SNP array and two GWAS approaches (GAPIT and QTCAT) to identify loci associated with the different traits. We identified 17 loci with GAPIT and 25 with QTCAT. Ten of these loci were associated with known genes that are routinely employed in marker assisted selection such as Ppd-D1 for maturity and Rht-D1 for plant height and seven of those were detected with both methods. We identified one locus for yield per se in 2014 on chromosome 6B with QTCAT and three in 2015, on chromosomes 4B and 5A with GAPIT and 6B with QTCAT. The 6B loci corresponded to the same region in both years. The favorable haplotypes for yield at the 5A and 6B loci are widespread in Australian accessions with 112 out of 153 carrying the favorable haplotype at the 5A locus and 136 out of 146 carrying the favorable haplotype at the 6A locus, while the favorable haplotype at 4B is only present in 65 out of 149 Australian accessions. The low number of yield QTL in our study corroborate with other GWAS for yield in wheat, where most of the identified loci have very small effects.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0211730PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6361508PMC
November 2019

Optical and physical mapping with local finishing enables megabase-scale resolution of agronomically important regions in the wheat genome.

Genome Biol 2018 08 17;19(1):112. Epub 2018 Aug 17.

Institute of Experimental Botany, Centre of the Region Haná for Biotechnological and Agricultural Research, Slechtitelu 31, CZ-78371, Olomouc, Czech Republic.

Background: Numerous scaffold-level sequences for wheat are now being released and, in this context, we report on a strategy for improving the overall assembly to a level comparable to that of the human genome.

Results: Using chromosome 7A of wheat as a model, sequence-finished megabase-scale sections of this chromosome were established by combining a new independent assembly using a bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC)-based physical map, BAC pool paired-end sequencing, chromosome-arm-specific mate-pair sequencing and Bionano optical mapping with the International Wheat Genome Sequencing Consortium RefSeq v1.0 sequence and its underlying raw data. The combined assembly results in 18 super-scaffolds across the chromosome. The value of finished genome regions is demonstrated for two approximately 2.5 Mb regions associated with yield and the grain quality phenotype of fructan carbohydrate grain levels. In addition, the 50 Mb centromere region analysis incorporates cytological data highlighting the importance of non-sequence data in the assembly of this complex genome region.

Conclusions: Sufficient genome sequence information is shown to now be available for the wheat community to produce sequence-finished releases of each chromosome of the reference genome. The high-level completion identified that an array of seven fructosyl transferase genes underpins grain quality and that yield attributes are affected by five F-box-only-protein-ubiquitin ligase domain and four root-specific lipid transfer domain genes. The completed sequence also includes the centromere.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13059-018-1475-4DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6097218PMC
August 2018

A DNA-based method for studying root responses to drought in field-grown wheat genotypes.

Sci Rep 2013 Nov 12;3:3194. Epub 2013 Nov 12.

Australian Centre for Plant Functional Genomics, The University of Adelaide, Waite Campus, Glen Osmond, South Australia, 5064, Australia.

Root systems are critical for water and nutrient acquisition by crops. Current methods measuring root biomass and length are slow and labour-intensive for studying root responses to environmental stresses in the field. Here, we report the development of a method that measures changes in the root DNA concentration in soil and detects root responses to drought in controlled environment and field trials. To allow comparison of soil DNA concentrations from different wheat genotypes, we also developed a procedure for correcting genotypic differences in the copy number of the target DNA sequence. The new method eliminates the need for separation of roots from soil and permits large-scale phenotyping of root responses to drought or other environmental and disease stresses in the field.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/srep03194DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3824167PMC
November 2013

Genetic and physical mapping of flowering time loci in canola (Brassica napus L.).

Theor Appl Genet 2013 Jan 7;126(1):119-32. Epub 2012 Sep 7.

EH Graham Centre for Agricultural Innovation (an alliance between NSWDPI and Charles Sturt University), Wagga Wagga, Australia.

We identified quantitative trait loci (QTL) underlying variation for flowering time in a doubled haploid (DH) population of vernalisation-responsive canola (Brassica napus L.) cultivars Skipton and Ag-Spectrum and aligned them with physical map positions of predicted flowering genes from the Brassica rapa genome. Significant genetic variation in flowering time and response to vernalisation were observed among the DH lines from Skipton/Ag-Spectrum. A molecular linkage map was generated comprising 674 simple sequence repeat, sequence-related amplified polymorphism, sequence characterised amplified region, Diversity Array Technology, and candidate gene based markers loci. QTL analysis indicated that flowering time is a complex trait and is controlled by at least 20 loci, localised on ten different chromosomes. These loci each accounted for between 2.4 and 28.6% of the total genotypic variation for first flowering and response to vernalisation. However, identification of consistent QTL was found to be dependant upon growing environments. We compared the locations of QTL with the physical positions of predicted flowering time genes located on the sequenced genome of B. rapa. Some QTL associated with flowering time on A02, A03, A07, and C06 may represent homologues of known flowering time genes in Arabidopsis; VERNALISATION INSENSITIVE 3, APETALA1, CAULIFLOWER, FLOWERING LOCUS C, FLOWERING LOCUS T, CURLY LEAF, SHORT VEGETATIVE PHASE, GA3 OXIDASE, and LEAFY. Identification of the chromosomal location and effect of the genes influencing flowering time may hasten the development of canola varieties having an optimal time for flowering in target environments such as for low rainfall areas, via marker-assisted selection.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00122-012-1966-8DOI Listing
January 2013

Molecular mapping of qualitative and quantitative loci for resistance to Leptosphaeria maculans causing blackleg disease in canola (Brassica napus L.).

Theor Appl Genet 2012 Jul 28;125(2):405-18. Epub 2012 Mar 28.

EH Graham Centre for Agricultural Innovation, NSW Department of Primary Industries and Charles Sturt University, Wagga Wagga Agricultural Institute, PMB, Wagga Wagga, NSW 2650, Australia.

Blackleg, caused by Leptosphaeria maculans, is one of the most important diseases of oilseed and vegetable crucifiers worldwide. The present study describes (1) the construction of a genetic linkage map, comprising 255 markers, based upon simple sequence repeats (SSR), sequence-related amplified polymorphism, sequence tagged sites, and EST-SSRs and (2) the localization of qualitative (race-specific) and quantitative (race non-specific) trait loci controlling blackleg resistance in a doubled-haploid population derived from the Australian canola (Brassica napus L.) cultivars Skipton and Ag-Spectrum using the whole-genome average interval mapping approach. Marker regression analyses revealed that at least 14 genomic regions with LOD ≥ 2.0 were associated with qualitative and quantitative blackleg resistance, explaining 4.6-88.9 % of genotypic variation. A major qualitative locus, designated RlmSkipton (Rlm4), was mapped on chromosome A7, within 0.8 cM of the SSR marker Xbrms075. Alignment of the molecular markers underlying this QTL region with the genome sequence data of B. rapa L. suggests that RlmSkipton is located approximately 80 kb from the Xbrms075 locus. Molecular marker-RlmSkipton linkage was further validated in an F(2) population from Skipton/Ag-Spectrum. Our results show that SSR markers linked to consistent genomic regions are suitable for enrichment of favourable alleles for blackleg resistance in canola breeding programs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00122-012-1842-6DOI Listing
July 2012
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