Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Shatter-resistant Pods Improve Brassica Crops

Date:
May 27, 2009
Source:
Norwich BioScience Institutes
Summary:
Scientists have cracked the problem of pod shatter in brassica crops such as rapeseed or canola. Just before harvest, the pods are prone to shatter, causing a 10-25 percent loss of seeds and up to 70 percent in some cases. The scientists discovered that the absence of the hormone auxin in a layer of cells in the fruit is necessary for the fruit to open.

Pod shattering in Brassica plants is used to disperse the seeds.
Credit: Image by Andrew Davis, JIC

An international team of scientists has cracked the problem of pod shatter in brassica crops such as rapeseed or canola.

Related Articles


Just before harvest, the pods are prone to shatter, causing a 10-25% loss of seeds and up to 70% in some cases.

"By artificially producing a hormone in a specific region of the fruit, we have stopped the fruit opening in the related model plant Arabidopsis, completely sealing the seeds inside," says Dr Lars Østergaard from the John Innes Centre. "We need to refine the process for use in agriculture to reduce seed loss but still allowing them to be easily harvested.

The scientists discovered that the absence of the hormone auxin in a layer of cells in the fruit is necessary for the fruit to open. Two stripes of tissue form where no auxin is present, and these separate to open the pod.

It is already known that proper plant development, such as organ growth and patterning, requires specific hormones to accumulate in specific regions. This is the first time that removal of a hormone has been found to be important for cell fate and growth.

Rapeseed, also known as oilseed rape, is grown for its tiny black oil-containing seeds, prized for cooking oil and margarines low in saturated fat, and increasingly for biodiesel. The meal that remains after oil extraction is also used as a high protein animal feed.

Brassica plants normally disperse their seeds by a pod-shattering mechanism. Although this mechanism is an advantage in nature, it is one of the biggest problems in farming rapeseed. As well as losing valuable seeds, it results in runaway 'volunteer' seedlings that contaminate the next crop in the rotation cycle.

If rape seeds are harvested early to get round the problem, immature seeds may be collected which are of an inferior quality.

Rapeseed is relatively undeveloped in breeding terms when compared to wheat and other crops. It retains characteristics of a wild plant including maximizing seed dispersal. JIC scientists are also researching genetic solutions to reduce pod shatter and to improve breeding of the crop.

The John Innes Centre is an institute of the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC).


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Norwich BioScience Institutes. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Karim Sorefan, Thomas Girin, Sarah J. Liljegren, Karin Ljung, Pedro Robles, Carlos S. Galván-Ampudia, Remko Offringa, Jir caroní Friml, Martin F. Yanofsky & Lars Østergaard. A regulated auxin minimum is required for seed dispersal in Arabidopsis. Nature, 2009; 459 (7246): 583 DOI: 10.1038/nature07875

Cite This Page:

Norwich BioScience Institutes. "Shatter-resistant Pods Improve Brassica Crops." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 May 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090527151134.htm>.
Norwich BioScience Institutes. (2009, May 27). Shatter-resistant Pods Improve Brassica Crops. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 19, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090527151134.htm
Norwich BioScience Institutes. "Shatter-resistant Pods Improve Brassica Crops." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090527151134.htm (accessed April 19, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Un-Bee-Lievable: Bees on the Loose After Washington Truck Crash

Un-Bee-Lievable: Bees on the Loose After Washington Truck Crash

Reuters - US Online Video (Apr. 17, 2015) — A truck carrying honey bees overturns near Lynnwood, Washington, spreading boxes of live bees across the highway. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Our Love Of Puppy Dog Eyes Explained By Science

Our Love Of Puppy Dog Eyes Explained By Science

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2015) — Researchers found a spike in oxytocin occurs in both humans and dogs when they gaze into each other&apos;s eyes. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dog Flu Spreading in Midwestern States

Dog Flu Spreading in Midwestern States

AP (Apr. 17, 2015) — Dog flu is spreading in several Midwestern states. Dog daycare centers and veterinary offices are taking precautions. (April 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Rare Whale Spotted in Gulf of Mexico

Raw: Rare Whale Spotted in Gulf of Mexico

AP (Apr. 17, 2015) — Researchers from the E/V Nautilus had quite a surprise Tuesday, when a curious sperm whale swam around their remotely operated vehicle in the Gulf of Mexico. Cameras captured the encounter. (April 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

    Health News

      Environment News

        Technology News



          Save/Print:
          Share:  

          Free Subscriptions


          Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

          Get Social & Mobile


          Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

          Have Feedback?


          Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
          Mobile iPhone Android Web
          Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
          Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
          Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins