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 April 16, 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 April 16, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Ebola Outbreak Now Linked To 121 Deaths

Ebola Outbreak Now Linked To 121 Deaths

Newsy (Apr. 15, 2014) — The ebola virus outbreak in West Africa is now linked to 121 deaths. Health officials fear the virus will continue to spread in urban areas. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
In Washington, a Push to Sterilize Stray Cats

In Washington, a Push to Sterilize Stray Cats

AFP (Apr. 14, 2014) — To curb the growing numbers of feral cats in the US capital, the Washington Humane Society is encouraging residents to set traps and bring the animals to a sterilization clinic, after which they are released.. Duration: 02:29 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
After Attack, Officials Kill 5 Bears in Florida

After Attack, Officials Kill 5 Bears in Florida

AP (Apr. 14, 2014) — Florida wildlife officials say they have killed five bears following an attack on a woman in a suburban subdivision in central Florida. Forty-five year-old Terri Frana was attacked by a large bear in her driveway Saturday. (April 14) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Uruguay Opens Its First Cannabis Library

Uruguay Opens Its First Cannabis Library

AFP (Apr. 13, 2014) — Uruguay opened its first Cannabis Library in Montevideo on Saturday, where people can come and read books on cannabis or take classes on how to grow the plant or even how to cook with it. Duration: 01:20 Video provided by AFP
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:
from the past week

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