Tilbake til søkeresultatene


NKJ 128 - Phenotypic and molecular characterisation of genetic resources of Nordic timothy (Phleum pratanese L.)

Tildelt: kr 1,8 mill.

Timothy is the most important forage grass species in the northern part of the Nordic countries. However, serious winter damages, which significantly lower persistency and yields, occur regularly. The Nordic plant breeders have so far been quite successfu l in developing new, high-yielding varieties. However, the challenges today are to further improve winter hardiness and quality, as well as to produce varieties that might be exported to new markets. In other important crop species we can rely on publicly available international research and development. This is not the case for timothy since this species is primarily utilised at higher latitudes and research is conducted mostly within the Nordic region. Therefore, the Nordic countries should have a speci al obligation to fund research in this economically important species. Progress in plant breeding depends on genetic variation that has been characterised. The Nordic Gene Bank (NGB) has today a large collection (approx. 560 accessions) of timothy. Howeve r, neither the genetic structure nor the value of the collection for plant breeding purposes has been studied based on modern molecular tools, i.e. DNA markers. For plant breeding such information would make the collection more accessible and make it poss ible to improve specific traits more targeted and develop new varieties more efficiently. In this project, field trials in three Nordic countries and application of DNA marker techniques will be used to study the phenotypic and genetic variation of Nordic timothy germplasm in terms of distribution, dispersion history and important adaptive traits such as vernalization response and frost tolerance. The bio-geographical history of Nordic timothy will be studied using exotic germplasm, and the genetic basis of breeding materials broadened by identification of heterotic groups and new sources for improving important traits. The resulting data will be utilised both for improving genetic resource management of timothy and for breeding purposes. All the data wil l be made publicly available and stored in NGB’s information system. The project will run during the years 2007-2010.