During the second phase of the SPP, we aim to dig deeper into the wealth of functional diversity we previously identified in HEB-25. In this regard, we have set up the following three work packages (WP), which are jointly coordinated by Dr. Kumlehn and Prof. Pillen.
WP 1: Cloning and characterizing exotic alleles of a novel FTi QTL.
In WP 1, a novel HEB-25 QTL on chromosome 4H will be isolated and characterized, where the exotic barley donor alleles cause late flowering phenotypes across and within the 25 HEB families compared to the recipient parent Barke. By cloning newly identified exotic FTi QTL alleles, we will raise the understanding of FTi regulation to improve the genetic architecture of crop plants via knowledge based breeding.
WP 2: Allele mining for exotic haplotypes of known FTi genes.
In WP 2, barley transformants, stably over-expressing a set of 12 wild barley alleles of known functional FTi genes will be generated, which caused extreme early or late flowering phenotypes in HEB-25. Subsequently, FTi effects and additional pleiotropic effects of the selected transformants will be characterized in greenhouse and field experiments. By transformation of an elite barley genotype with functional wild barley alleles of approved FTi regulating genes, we will study modification of FTi towards crop improvement by altering the expression or function of individual genes either by genetic modification or by mutation.
WP 3: HEB-YIELD: A crosstalk between FTi and abiotic stress tolerance in HEB-25.
In WP 3, a set of 48 HEB lines will be selected, segregating at four important FTi genes (Ppd-H1, denso, Vrn-H1 and Vrn-H3). By means of the selected HEB lines the crosstalk between flowering regulation and tolerance to four important abiotic stresses (drought, heat, salt and nitrogen deficiency) will be studied in a global field trial across a wide range of photoperiod field conditions located in UK, Germany, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Australia. By testing the exotic NAM population HEB-25 through a global series of environments and under various stress conditions, we will improve the understanding of pleiotropic effects of FTi regulators and how they account for yield components and stress tolerance. In addition, we will contribute to the development of algorithms and databases for integrated analysis of sequence, expression, phenotypic and image data with the goal of deciphering regulatory FTi networks and their evolution.