INVESTIGATORS: John Dyer (PI), Hussein Abdel-Haleem, Daniel Schachtman, Yufeng Ge, Toni Kutchan, Noah Fahlgren, Sheeja George, Russ Gesch
INSTITUTIONS: USDA ARS U.S. Arid Land Agricultural Research Center (USALARC), Maricopa, AZ; University of Nebraska, Lincoln; Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, St. Louis, MO; University of Florida, Quincy; USDA ARS North Central Soil Conservation Research Lab (NCSCRL), Morris, MN
PROJECT SUMMARY: Plant oils represent an outstanding potential source of energy-dense hydrocarbons that can be used for fuels and industrial raw materials, but a major challenge is to produce these oils in non-food oilseed crops that have high yields and can grow under varied climatic conditions. In recent years, Camelina sativa has received considerable attention as a potential nonfood biofuels crop, but significant challenges remain to develop stable, high-yielding, geographically adapted germplasm suitable for biofuels production. We will utilize advanced high-throughput phenotyping and genomics-based approaches to discover useful gene/alleles controlling seed yield and oil content and quality in camelina under water-limited conditions, and will identify high-yielding cultivars suitable for production in different geographical regions. The project includes three primary objectives: 1) Develop and apply automated, non-destructive high-throughput phenotyping (HTP) protocols to evaluate the phenotypic diversity and stress tolerance of a camelina panel consisting of 250 accessions, grown under well-watered and water-limited conditions. 2) Discover alleles/genes controlling morphological, physiological, seed, and oil yield properties using genome-wide association studies (GWAS). 3) Identify, test, and validate useful germplasm, including transgenic lines producing drop-in ready jet fuel components, under diverse environments and marginal production areas.
Taken together, this project will significantly advance the utilization of non-food oilseed crops for biofuel production and provide guidance and insight for future studies of phenomics-based crop improvement.
Name: Dyer, John