Abstract Detail

Crops and Wild Relatives

Rubin, Matthew [1], Bhakta, Niyati [2], Brand, Leah [3], Cyr, Maxwell [4], Frawley, Emma [5], DeHaan, Lee [6], Long, Quinn [7], Schlautman, Brandon [6], Van Tassel, David [6], Miller, Allison [8].

Growing the botanical foundation for crop development: characterizing patterns of variation and covariation in herbaceous perennials.

The majority of domesticated plant species are herbaceous annuals and woody perennials. However, there are many herbaceous perennial species that hold potential for future agricultural systems. In addition to multiyear harvest, herbaceous perennials provide many ecosystem services, including erosion control as a result of their large and persistent root systems. However, the multiyear lifespan of perennial species can slow the domestication process as it is often required to phenotype the plants over multiple growing seasons. To help overcome this issue, we are developing a predictive framework where traits expressed early in the perennial's life cycle can be used to predict later life-cycle traits of agriculture interest, particularly yield. We selected perennial species from the following three families: Asteraceae (Silphium integrifolium, Helianthus maximiliani), Fabaceae (Astragalus canadensis, Desmanthus illinoensis, Glycyrrhiza lepidota, Lotus corniculatus, Lupinus polyphyllus, Medicago sativa x M. arborea, Onobrychis viciifolia) and Poaceae (Elymus canadensis, E. virginicus, Hordeum brachyantherum, Thinopyrum intermedium). For each species, we obtained seed for 12 - 49 accessions that were screened for the following traits: seed size and morphology, germination timing and proportion, early growth rate, above and below-ground biomass, leaf spectral traits, overwinter survival and flowering time. We will continue to measure yield over multiple growing seasons to ultimately test for associations between traits expressed early in the life-cycle and yield. The long-term goals of this project are to 1) characterize and compare trait (co)variation within life stages of perennial, herbaceous species; 2) to assess (co)variation among life stages, and to assess whether traits expressed early in the life-cycle are predictive of traits that are observed at later life stages. Preliminary analyses suggest that traits within a lifestage are correlated (for example, seed area and weight) but the patterns of trait correlation across life stages are variable. Collectively, this study will provide critical insights into expression of traits throughout the multi-year lifespan of herbaceous perennial plants and provide criteria on new practices to pre-select, maintain and maximize potentially advantageous traits through the domestication process.

1 - Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, 975 North Warson Road, Miller Lab, St. Louis, MO, 63132, United States
2 - Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, Miler Lab, 975 North Warson Road, St. Louis, MO, 63132, USA
3 - Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, Miller Lab, 975 North Warson Road, St. Louis, MO, 63132, USA
4 - Saint Louis University, Biology, 3507 Laclede Avenue, St. Louis, MO, 63110, USA
5 - Washington University, Biological Sciences , 660 S. Euclid Avenue, St. Louis, MO, 63110, USA
6 - The Land Institute , 2440 E Water Well Road, Salina, KS, 67401, USA
7 - Missouri Botanical Garden, 4344 Shaw Blvd., St. Louis, MO, 63110, USA
8 - Saint Louis Univ./Danforth Plant Science Center, Biology, 3507 Laclede Avenue, Macelwane Hall, St. Louis, MO, 63110, United States

trait correlations
herbaceous perennials
future agricultural systems .

Presentation Type: Oral Paper
Session: CWR1, Crops and Wild Relatives
Location: Virtual/Virtual
Date: Wednesday, July 29th, 2020
Time: 3:15 PM
Number: CWR1002
Abstract ID:729
Candidate for Awards:None

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