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.

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 October 22, 2014 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 October 22, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Working Mother DIY: Pumpkin Pom-Pom

Working Mother DIY: Pumpkin Pom-Pom

Working Mother (Oct. 22, 2014) — How to make a pumpkin pom-pom. Video provided by Working Mother
Powered by NewsLook.com
San Diego Zoo's White Rhinos Provide Hope for the Critically Endangered Species

San Diego Zoo's White Rhinos Provide Hope for the Critically Endangered Species

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Oct. 22, 2014) — The pair of rare white northern rhinos bring hope for their species as only six remain in the world. Elly Park reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Bear Cub Strolls Through Oregon Drug Store

Raw: Bear Cub Strolls Through Oregon Drug Store

AP (Oct. 22, 2014) — Shoppers at an Oregon drug store were surprised by a bear cub scurrying down the aisles this past weekend. (Oct. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Family Pleads for Pet Pig to Stay at Home

Family Pleads for Pet Pig to Stay at Home

AP (Oct. 22, 2014) — The Johnson family lost their battle with the Chesterfield County, Virginia Planning Commission to allow Tucker, their pet pig, to stay in their home, but refuse to let the board keep Tucker away. (Oct. 22) 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