Dr Hanmei Du1,4, Geetha Perera1, Dr Akitomo Kawasaki1,2, Dr Harsh Raman3, Gilbert Permaloo1, Dr Peter R Ryan1

1CSIRO Agriculture And Food, Canberra, Australia,
2Elizabeth Macarthur Agricultural Institute, NSW DPI, Menangle, Australia,
3Graham Centre for Agricultural Innovation, NSW DPI, Wagga Wagga, Australia,
4Key Laboratory of Biology and Genetic Improvement of Maize in Southwest China, Sichuan Agricultural University, Chengdu, China

Acid soils limit the yields of most grain crops including many cereals and canola. Aluminium (Al3+) is the main cause of this limitation because the toxic Al3+ cations prevalent in acid soils inhibit root growth. Lime application is the most effective way of reversing soil acidification but it is a long-term strategy that requires years to ameliorate the subsoil. The use of better-adapted germplasm is a complementary strategy that maintains yields while liming takes effect. Significant genotypic variation for Al3+ resistance has been reported for wheat, barley and many legume crops but few studies have investigated canola. As a consequence, breeding programs do not target acid soil-tolerance in canola because genetic variation and convincing QTL have not been reported. To investigate this further, we conducted a genome-wide associated study (GWAS) using the BnASSYST canola diversity panel. We screened 350 lines in hydroponics with and without a toxic concentration of AlCl3 (pH 4.4) and measured shoot biomass, root biomass and root length. Significant variation for Al3+ resistance traits (relative root length, relative shoot weight and relative root weight) was observed. BnASSYST panel was genotyped with ~15000 high-quality genotyping-by-sequencing based markers. By accounting both population structure and kinship matrices, we identified several genome-wide QTL for different measures of Al3+ resistance. The GWAS suggests that multiple genes are responsible for natural variation in Al3+ resistance in canola. Our results provide new genetic resources and QTL/markers for improving Al3+ resistance in canola via genomic and marker-assisted selection.


Post-docs in Univ Tasmania and in the USA (USDA and Cornell University)

Worked most of his career at CSIRO, Canberra

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