VF00018 - Visiting Fellowship Award - Dr Monika Lulsdorf -(UWA) The application of in vitro techniques to generation acceleration in legumes
Researchers at the Centre for Legumes in Mediterranean Agriculture (CLIMA), Perth and The Crop Development Centre (CDC), Saskatoon have been collaborating on legume cell biology research projects since 2001. These projects have focused on the development of in vitro tools for legume germplasm enhancement.
Dr Janine Croser leads a GRDC funded project at The University of Western Australia – UWA000140 ‘Biotechnology tools to accelerate lupin and lentil improvement’. Dr Croser is taking parental leave from February 2011. Dr Monika Lülsdorf, a Senior Research Scientist in legume cell biology at the CDC, will travel to Perth to lead UWA000140 for the period Feb – Dec 2011 to utilise her expertise with legume doubled haploidy and legume in vitro generation acceleration to progress toward the project milestones of UWA000140.
Specific objectives of this visit were:
1. To strengthen collaborative linkages between PBA and Canadian pulse research.
2. To undertake technology transfer between PBA and Canadian researchers.
3. To access the expertise of Dr Lülsdorf in doubled haploidy (DH) and in vitro generation acceleration of grain legumes, particularly lentil, lupin and field pea, to meet the project objectives of UWA000140 and the GRDC funded PhD research of Federico Ribalta.
4. To ensure continuity and progress within UWA000140 during Dr Croser’s parental leave period.
Project achievements against objectives were as follows:
1. Linkages between the two groups were improved and new breakthroughs were quickly applied in research programs in both Canada and Australia.
2. The 2011 annual reports on in vitro flowering and double-haploid development of pea and lentil from Canada which contained improvements to the protocols were made available to staff and the GRDC funded PhD student (Federico Ribalta) at UWA. Information from the updated protocols were subsequently implemented in Australia.
3. Regarding the in vitro flowering project, high light intensity and a ratio of red to far-red light of about 2 (similar to sunlight in the summer) were identified as major inductive treatments. By moving plants under high intensity sodium lights in a CER with prolonged day length, flowering and pod set was achieved in several varieties of lentil, lupin and pea. Using the current protocol we estimate that 6 to 8 generations per year could be produced under optimal conditions and we expect to validate this finding in 2012 across Canadian and CLIMA (Australian) labs. Improvements to the protocol, combined with proposed joint experiments planned for January to June 2012 should overcome any remaining limiting growth factors. These experiments should enable us to prepare two manuscripts for publication in 2012.
Regarding androgenesis, ongoing experiements both in Canada and Australia have once again highlighted the extreme recalcitrance of the legumes to doubled haploid induction. Even slight variations in donor plant growth conditions had major effects on pollen viability and androgenesis induction rates. Efforts were focusssed on identifying some of these factors and light quality and intensity were found to influence hormone levels in donor plants. Suboptimal hormone levels, especially auxin, caused low induction rates. Due to the ongoing difficulties in providing optimal growing conditions, we have thus focused our efforts on the in vitro flowering in order to progress to a robust generation turnover system.
4. In vitro flowering and generation turnover has been achieved in a range of genotypes of lupin and lentil. In addition, the research of Federico Ribalta in pea has been benefited from the expertise of Dr Lusldorf in both DH and in vitro flowering.
A reinvigoration of the existing linkages between the CDC and Australian researchers was the main benefit for this visiting fellowship. Future experiments are now planned utilising the expertise at both locations and joint publications are in process. Information from particularly lentil research in Canada has helped to provide a solid beginning to the in vitro research in this species for the benefit of the PBA lentil breeding program in Australia.