Novel genetic and genomic tools polyploid crops
Genetic and genomic tools for polyploids are lagging behind diploid crops, because of their genetic complexity. This project aims to provide such tools, building on up-to-date tools for mapping and QTL analysis in tetraploids as developed in our earlier TKI-U project 263, to now include higher ploidy levels and additional types of inheritance, introduce haplotype-based approaches and the use of pedigree information, and the development of advanced QTL mapping software to deal with genetically complex traits.
The project produced tools for advanced QTL mapping in polyploid crops. These can be applied to identify selectable markers for important complex traits, enabling MAB in polyploid crops. In this way the project contributed to Biotechnology and Plant Breeding (ST2) for polyploids, enabling companies to breed more efficiently for all relevant traits which include traits important for reaching sustainability and circularity goals in agriculture.
The project will develop novel methods and software for genetic analysis in polyploid populations using state-of-the-art genomic and computational tools. The direct application of these tools by the industrial partners will improve the effectiveness and speed of the breeding of polyploid crops.
The project had a crop and sector-transcending character: we are working on a range of crops: ornamentals (cut and garden rose, Chrysanthemum, Alstroemeria, Phalaenopsis), fruits (strawberry), vegetables (leek) and arable crops (potato, alfalfa). Methods and software developed are generic and can be used for genetic analysis of other polyploid agricultural and horticultural crops. Thus, this project is relevant for the whole Horticulture & seed sector. This was reflected in the large number of participating companies and the range of different crops.
Results have been tools for marker assisted breeding in polyploids that can be implemented in breeding, therefore yearly hands-on workshops have been organized for staff members of the involved breeding companies which facilitated implementation of tools directly.