Improved yield and harvestability in Canola through prevention of pod shatter

More about the project

In canola, pod shattering can cause lost yield potential of up to 62%. Fine tuning pod shatter resistance in canola will enable direct heading, improve overall yield, reduce costs, and reduce the carbon footprint associated with harvest. Canola is a high-value crop for Australia grown for its healthy edible oils and as a source of biodiesel and livestock feed. There is a growing need to increase canola productivity due to higher demand, decrease in arable land and fluctuating future climates. This project will use cutting edge gene editing approaches to modify candidate developmental genes which are known to influence pod shatter in related species. Canola is a tetraploid species, so modifications will be directed to target the homoeologs of several gene targets. Plants containing different sets of modifications will be characterised and promising combinations of modifications will be subjected to controlled environment and field testing to assess pod shatter resistance.  

Project supervisors

There will be multiple supervisors to work with across the projects, including the following.

Associate Professor Tony Millar

Tony is a Deputy Director of the Training Centre and is focused on students and training to ensure their maximum success. In the lab, Tony works on microRNAs, many of which play pivotal roles in many developmental and physiological processes, in both plants and animals.

Dr Julian Greenwood

Julian is a Innovation Fellow with the Training Centre for Future Crops and brings experience in transformation, floral development and disease resistance in monocots.

Dr Harsh Raman

Dr Harsh Raman conducts and oversees plant molecular biology research at the Wagga Wagga Agricultural Institute.

Dr Raman joined NSW DPI in 1996 and has undertaken and managed research projects in wheat, barley and canola.

Genome mapping and the development of molecular markers for crop improvement are among Dr Raman’s professional skills. Dr Raman has written chapters for plant molecular-biology books and published more than 80 peer reviewed scientific papers.

During the last five years his team has mapped loci associated with flowering time, and resistance to blackleg disease and pod shattering in diverse germplasm of canola.

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