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Abstract Detail

Crops and Wild Relatives

Piotter, Emelyn [1], Rubin, Matthew [2], Bhakta, Niyati [2], Pinkner, Leah [2], Cason, Miranda [1], Corya, Ellen [1], Cyr, Maxwell [2], Frawley, Emma [3], Herron, Sterling A [1], Hilz, Matthew [1], Kadiyala, Tanvi [1], Keaggy, Liam [2], Korein, Katherine [1], Tran, Vivian [1], Schlautman, Brandon [4], Van Tassel, David [4], Miller, Allison [1].

Characterizing patterns of variation and covariation across life stages of herbaceous perennials.

The current agricultural system is primarily composed of annual monocultures and woody perennials, yet herbaceous perennial plants are viable candidates for improving the sustainability of agriculture in the future. Due to their extensive, long-lived root systems, perennials can access water and nutrients from a greater soil volume, making them less dependent on inputs. Additionally, perennial roots reduce erosion and sequester carbon. However, few herbaceous perennial crops have been domesticated. By characterizing trait covariation- the relationship between pairs of traits- researchers can accelerate the selection cycle of perennial crop candidates by predicting agronomically important adult traits (like plant height and yield) from the individual’s phenotype at an early life stage. Specifically, we asked: how do traits expressed early in the life-cycle under controlled conditions relate to traits expressed later in the life-cycle in the field? This study focused on twelve species representing the Fabaceae (legume), Poaceae (grasses), and Asteraceae (asters-sunflower) families. For each species, we selected10-50 accessions and grew 48 seeds per accession in controlled conditions at the Danforth Plant Science Center and then transplanted them to the Miller Lab Perennial Common Garden at Shaw Nature Reserve in Fall 2019. Early life stage traits were measured under controlled conditions, including seed morphology and seed weight, timing and proportion of germination, plant size and growth rate, and a suite of leaf spectral traits. After transplanting, starting in Spring 2020we measured overwinter survival, flowering time, plant height, and yield components, and will continue to measure these traits in 2021 and beyond. Our results identify significant correlations between early and later life stage traits, including flowering time and yield. These data suggest that covariation among early and later life-cycle traits can identify early-stage traits that can be used in selection pipelines to expedite breeding and in herbaceous perennial crops.

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1 - Saint Louis University, Biology, 3507 Laclede Ave, St. Louis, MO, 63103, USA
2 - Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, Miller Lab, 975 North Warson Road, St. Louis, MO, 63132, USA
3 - Washington University In St. Louis, Biology, 1 Brookings Drive, McDonnell Hall, St. Louis, MO, 63130, United States
4 - The Land Institute, 2440 E Water Well Rd, Salina, KS, 67401, USA

perennial grain crops
Silphium integrifolium
Desmanthus  illinoensis
thinopyrum intermedium.

Presentation Type: Oral Paper
Session: CW2, Crops and Wild Relatives II
Location: /
Date: Wednesday, July 21st, 2021
Time: 3:45 PM(EDT)
Number: CW2004
Abstract ID:1000
Candidate for Awards:None

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