Maps to boost lupin breeding technologies

27 Jan, 2018 04:00 AM
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Grains Research and Development Corporation senior regional manager Charlie Thorn (left) and Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) senior research officer Hua'an Yang, managing director research, development and innovation Mark Sweetingham and principal research officer Chengdao Li with a DNA sequencer.
Grains Research and Development Corporation senior regional manager Charlie Thorn (left) and Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) senior research officer Hua'an Yang, managing director research, development and innovation Mark Sweetingham and principal research officer Chengdao Li with a DNA sequencer.

ADVANCES in the performance of future lupin varieties are set to take a significant leap forward, with the development of two new molecular maps to aid plant breeding.

The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) has updated the ultra-high density consensus genetic map, in addition to developing a physical map for narrow-leafed lupins.

DPIRD’s research and collaborations, with the support of the Grains Research and Development Corporation, have established Australia as a world leader in lupin molecular genetics.

DPIRD senior research officer Huaan Yang said the two maps would provide plant breeders with greater confidence in the accuracy of the data used to produce new high-performance lupins, tailored to the environment.

“The dense, high quality data in the genetic and physical lupin maps provides the fundamental building blocks from which to develop new higher yielding varieties with greater resistance to pests and diseases,” Dr Yang said.

“This new genetic data will boost future lupin breeding technology, delivering a resource to integrate genomic selection into lupin breeding that is on-par with breeding approaches in other mainstream international food crops.”

The latest developments build on an initial draft lupin genome sequence published in 2013 and the comparative genomes of another 18 lupin lines that were re-sequenced in 2015.

The updated ultra-high density consensus genetic map incorporated DPIRD’s previous work, as well as research by The University of WA, the CSIRO and from Poland.

Dr Yang said the ultra-high density genetic map was far more detailed than previous versions, providing plant breeders with greatly enhanced tools to work with genes of breeding interest.

“We have discovered 19,000 new molecular markers across the lupin genome, which, when integrated with data from previous maps, has enabled us to establish a more dense and complex genetic map for lupins, comprising more than 34,500 markers,” Dr Yang said.

“The quality of this map is particularly high, as the DNA sequence for each of those markers has been located on the genome sequence assembly – physically within the chromosomes.”

DPIRD researchers, working with scientists at Murdoch University and the Beijing Genome Institute, used the ultra-high genetic map to update the physical map of lupins.

“While the genetic map provides ‘signposts’ to the molecular markers and the approximate distances between genetic traits, the physical map goes to the next level to provide the actual distance along the DNA sequence for each chromosome,” Dr Yang said.

“The new maps will enable plant breeders to use molecular marker technology to pinpoint the genes that determine key traits with greater applicability and precision – enhancing the potential development of new varieties.”

p More information:visit agric.wa.gov.au and search for lupin.

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