Dr Tina Barsby

Plant Science into Practice

Genetics, Plant Breeding and
Agriculture
Dr Tina Barsby

Plant Science into Practice

NIAB, Huntingdon Road, Cambridge, UK
Agriculture: the most important
event in human history
Matthew 7:18-7:20 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a
corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree...
Meeting the Demands of a Growing Global Market
GROWING WORLD POPULATION (B)
9

RISING CEREAL DEMAND (MMT)

3000

8
2500

7...
Feeding future populations means doubling the productivity and improving the
nutritional quality of crops
Dr Tina Barsby

Plant Science into Practice

‘Better seeds…better crops’
• Food crisis after WW1
• NIAB established by cha...
Dr Tina Barsby

Plant Science into Practice

1931 Farmers leaflet

1932 Farmers leaflet

The First Farmers Leaflets
Dr Tina Barsby

Plant Science into Practice

•DuPont Food security index (there
are others)
•http://foodsecurity.eiu.com
A...
Dr Tina Barsby

Plant Science into Practice
Dr Tina Barsby

Plant Science into Practice
Dr Tina Barsby

Plant Science into Practice
Agriculture in Tanzania
• Agriculture Sector Development Strategy 2001
strong donor (esp World Bank) support
• Kilimo Kwan...
Agriculture in Tanzania
• Global challenges
• Local challenges of climate, soil,
infrastructure, prices, growth of cities,...
Norman E. Borlaug
Genetic Software & Hardware
Growth rates due to early years of the
Green Revolution (1961-1980)
3.5
3
2.5
2

Other inputs
Cultivars

1.5
1
0.5
0
Latin...
Growth rates due to late years of the
Green Revolution (1981-2000)
2.5
2
1.5
Other inputs
Cultivars

1
0.5
0
-0.5
Latin Am...
Wheat
Genetic history: plant breeding.

Dwarfing genes
reduced the
weight of straw,
changing the
distribution of
resources...
•
•
•
•

What do plant breeders do?
How do they ‘introduce dwarfing genes’?
Where do these new genes come from?
Other ques...
Pedigree method
Participatory maize breeding in
Africa

• Prioritize most important
stresses under farmers’
conditions
• Manage trials on ...
Holistic Research
“No matter how excellent the
research done in one scientific
discipline is, its application in
isolation...
•Father of the Green revolution:
Norman Borlaug.
•Where did he find the dwarf geneDiversity! Japanese
accession..Gene Bank...
Fundamental role of Diversity &
Selection

Reference: Michael Balter (2007) Seeking Agriculture’s Ancient Roots, Science 3...
Crop Biodiversity

The Seed Vault at Svalbard
Global Crop Diversity Trust
Sources of novel variation
•
•
•
•

International germplasm
Landrace, or traditional varieties
Wild relatives
Progenitor s...
Vavilov 1887-1943
•Soviet botanist & geneticist
•Discovered and identified
centres of origin of cultivated
plants
•Critici...
Many plant species have
been domesticated
around the world

All of the principal crops we
rely on today come from
domestic...
Domestication: the first plant
breeders

The practice of artificial selection has been practiced by
farmers for thousands ...
Domestication
traits: traits that
distinguish seed &
fruit crops from
their progenitors
Crop origins and diversification

Science 316, 1830-1835
ESEB Congress, Uppsala,
Sweden, August 2007
Little overlap between centres of origin & today’s
productive agriculture.

Nature Vol 418, 700-707
ESEB Congress, Uppsala...
Gene Banks
•
•
•
•
•
•
•

Preserve Diversity
Collections, libraries
International, National and Local
Curation
Need mainte...
‘all life depends on sunlight
and a green leaf’

BIOLOGY is the science of the
natural world & critical to the
future of a...
Courtesy Tobert Rocheford and
Catherine Bermudez Kandianis

Keith Weller

Keith Weller

Scott Bauer

Doug Wilson
• Organisation and Importance of Diversity
• Linking biological knowledge to seed bank
collections
• Selection is a powerf...
DNA - the code for life
• The DNA code consists
of just 4 building
blocks:
– A, C, T and G.

A C T G

...GCCTTACG…

....AC...
Maize has more molecular diversity
than humans and apes combined
1.34%

0.09%

1.42%

Silent Diversity (Zhao PNAS 2000; Te...
Genes (Every organism carries inside
itself what are known as genes)
• DNA is divided into
sections called
genes.
• Each g...
Chromosome changes: mutations
DNA isolation
•
•
•
•
•
•

DNA
Chromosomes
Nucleus
Cells
Tissues
(Fruits)
Genes provide the foundation of new products for
farmers

Genes

Protein

yield?
tolerance to drought?
flowering time?

Tr...
Wheat a classic allo-hexaploid

Science Vol 316, 1862-1866

ESEB Congress, Uppsala,
Sweden, August 2007
Plant Breeding: Mining
Diversity
•

•

SHW back-crossing by CIMMYT

Identified reduced group of
94 for back-crossing to Xi...
Paragon x SHW BC1F2 selections

Delayed senescence

Increased grain sites
Drought in Africa between now and 2090

Red, Orange =
More prone to
drought

Blue =
Wetter and less
prone to
drought

Hadl...
Evaluation of drought
tolerance
High spike photosynthesis
Stem reserves
High preanthesis biomass

Cellular traits: osmotic...
Drought assessment at
CIMMYT Mexico

Drought trials at Obregon, N. Mexico

Tractor-mounted Giddings soil corer
Conventional pedigree selection

Reproduced from Koebner & Summers 2003
Marker- Aided Selection
• Isolating
DNA
• ‘Cutting’
into pieces
• Amplifying
• Visualising
• Locating
Chromosome changes: mutations
• A new characteristic is the result of gene
mutation
• Genes can be amplified and ‘seen’ as
molecular markers.
• Breeders...
Tissue Culture

• Margaret Karembu of ISAAA talking about TC
in bananas
Genetics
• The science underlying plant breeding.
Heredity

•Heredity is the
passing of traits
to offspring
(from its parent
or ancestors).

Offspring resemble their parent...
Charles Darwin

Evolution is driven by natural selection
Darwin’s mentor

Great Teachers often feature in the development of Great People!
Gregor Johann Mendel,
(b. 22 July 1822; d. 6 January 1884)
Moravia, Austro-Hungarian Empire

Brno (Czech Rep.)
Experimemts...
Mendel’s Laws
• Law of equal segregation (First Law)
The two members of a gene pair
segregate from each other into the
gam...
Reasons for choosing to study garden pea
•Can be grown in a small area
•Produce lots of offspring
•Easily identifiable tra...
A pea flower with the keel cut and opened
to expose the reproductive parts
Artificial cross pollination
Genes (The genes are codes or messages. They carry
information. The information they carry is used to tell
the organism wh...
The seven character differences studied by Mendel
purple-flowered (f) x white flowered (m)
Summary and conclusions of Mendel’s experiments
•After crossing pure parental strains, the
F1 produced 100% of one charact...
Dominant and recessive traits
Mendel’s Laws
• Law of equal segregation (First Law)
The two members of a gene pair
segregate from each other into the
gam...
Information from genes.
Dr Tina Barsby

Plant Science into Practice

•Agriculture depends on plant
breeding, choosing the best, crossing
the best ...
Dr Tina Barsby

Plant Science into Practice

•Developing an industry-wide resource, showcasing new
technology and innovati...
Sexual reproduction in plants
F1 Hybrids

ESEB Congress, Uppsala,
Sweden, August 2007
Hybrid vrs Open pollinated maize
On the left, a
local landrace
variety

On the right a
new, hybrid
maize variety
developed...
USA: Historic Maize Yields
6
5

Yield
(tonnes/ha)

4
3
2
1
0

1875

1925

To put your footer here go to View > Header and ...
History of Hybrids in Sorghum
5000

United States

4500

3500
3000
2500
2000

Inbred Varieties

1500

Hybrid Cultivars

10...
Hybrid Seed Production
– Getting the cross
• Hybrids are produced by hand emasculation
in corn.
• In wheat, chemicals are ...
Training of Seed Growers in Hybrid Production

Crossing A and B lines

Heat sterilization of pollen using polythene bag

I...
Concepts of Hybrid Production - Hybrid Vigour (Heterosis)
Hybrid Vigour is the superiority of progeny (offspring) (F1)
ove...
• Making FI Hybrids
• And the F2…
Dr Tina Barsby

Plant Science into Practice

•Developing an industry-wide resource, showcasing new
technology and innovati...
1.3 plants and agriculture tina barsby
1.3 plants and agriculture tina barsby
1.3 plants and agriculture tina barsby
1.3 plants and agriculture tina barsby
1.3 plants and agriculture tina barsby
1.3 plants and agriculture tina barsby
1.3 plants and agriculture tina barsby
1.3 plants and agriculture tina barsby
1.3 plants and agriculture tina barsby
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1.3 plants and agriculture tina barsby

  1. 1. Dr Tina Barsby Plant Science into Practice Genetics, Plant Breeding and Agriculture
  2. 2. Dr Tina Barsby Plant Science into Practice NIAB, Huntingdon Road, Cambridge, UK
  3. 3. Agriculture: the most important event in human history
  4. 4. Matthew 7:18-7:20 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.
  5. 5. Meeting the Demands of a Growing Global Market GROWING WORLD POPULATION (B) 9 RISING CEREAL DEMAND (MMT) 3000 8 2500 7 6 2000 5 1500 4 3 1000 2 500 1 1981 1999 2015 TRANSITION NATIONS • • • 2030 1981 DEVELOPED NATIONS 1999 2015 2030 DEVELOPING NATIONS World population continues to increase Per capita food consumption continues to rise Consumers continue to demand improved taste, convenience, and nutrition “To feed the eight billion people expected by 2025, the world will have to double food production…” CSIS - Seven Revolutions Source: FAO, WHO
  6. 6. Feeding future populations means doubling the productivity and improving the nutritional quality of crops
  7. 7. Dr Tina Barsby Plant Science into Practice ‘Better seeds…better crops’ • Food crisis after WW1 • NIAB established by charitable donations for ‘the improvement of crops with higher genetic quality’ • Barriers to plant breeding, and to access for growers to improved varieties, were recognised barriers to enhanced food production
  8. 8. Dr Tina Barsby Plant Science into Practice 1931 Farmers leaflet 1932 Farmers leaflet The First Farmers Leaflets
  9. 9. Dr Tina Barsby Plant Science into Practice •DuPont Food security index (there are others) •http://foodsecurity.eiu.com Availability Affordability Safety and Quality
  10. 10. Dr Tina Barsby Plant Science into Practice
  11. 11. Dr Tina Barsby Plant Science into Practice
  12. 12. Dr Tina Barsby Plant Science into Practice
  13. 13. Agriculture in Tanzania • Agriculture Sector Development Strategy 2001 strong donor (esp World Bank) support • Kilimo Kwanza 2009: ten pillars support large and small scale • External interests in large scale agriculture • Specialised areas: flowers, seeds • Small scale is unpredictable poor performing • Tanzania Development Vision Review 2025 requires a 6% p.a. growth in Agriculture
  14. 14. Agriculture in Tanzania • Global challenges • Local challenges of climate, soil, infrastructure, prices, growth of cities, exports • Large and small farms needed (outgrowers) • Small farm improvement is needed to reduce poverty • Genetics and plant breeding transcends all of this!
  15. 15. Norman E. Borlaug
  16. 16. Genetic Software & Hardware
  17. 17. Growth rates due to early years of the Green Revolution (1961-1980) 3.5 3 2.5 2 Other inputs Cultivars 1.5 1 0.5 0 Latin America Asia Middle East Africa
  18. 18. Growth rates due to late years of the Green Revolution (1981-2000) 2.5 2 1.5 Other inputs Cultivars 1 0.5 0 -0.5 Latin America Asia Middle East Africa
  19. 19. Wheat Genetic history: plant breeding. Dwarfing genes reduced the weight of straw, changing the distribution of resources and Dwarfing genes resulting in: allow increased: •Higher grain •Nitrogen fertiliser yields. levels. In addition, Which increased pleiotropic effects susceptibility to of the dwarfing disease. But plants gene include were protected by more developed: newly grains per ear. •Fungicide
  20. 20. • • • • What do plant breeders do? How do they ‘introduce dwarfing genes’? Where do these new genes come from? Other questions?
  21. 21. Pedigree method
  22. 22. Participatory maize breeding in Africa • Prioritize most important stresses under farmers’ conditions • Manage trials on experiment station and evaluate large numbers of cultivars, • Select the best, and … • Involve farmers – Mother trials in center of farming community grown under best-bet input conditions – Farmer-representative input conditions – Farmer-managed baby trials • Partnership with extension, NGOs, rural schools, and farmer associations The Mother / Baby trial design Collaborative, on-farm evaluation of maize cultivars Performance under farmers’ conditions and farmers’ acceptance
  23. 23. Holistic Research “No matter how excellent the research done in one scientific discipline is, its application in isolation will have little positive effect on crop production. What is needed are venturesome scientists who can work across disciplines to produce appropriate technologies and who have the courage to make their case with political leaders to bring these advances to fruition. ” Norman E. Borlaug
  24. 24. •Father of the Green revolution: Norman Borlaug. •Where did he find the dwarf geneDiversity! Japanese accession..Gene Banks importance •How did he make possible to grow dwarf wheat in a variety of environments? Hybridisation, crossing
  25. 25. Fundamental role of Diversity & Selection Reference: Michael Balter (2007) Seeking Agriculture’s Ancient Roots, Science 316, 1830-1835
  26. 26. Crop Biodiversity The Seed Vault at Svalbard Global Crop Diversity Trust
  27. 27. Sources of novel variation • • • • International germplasm Landrace, or traditional varieties Wild relatives Progenitor species
  28. 28. Vavilov 1887-1943 •Soviet botanist & geneticist •Discovered and identified centres of origin of cultivated plants •Criticised the nonMendelian concepts of Lysenko •Arrested in 1940, died of malnutrition in prison in 1943.
  29. 29. Many plant species have been domesticated around the world All of the principal crops we rely on today come from domesticated species
  30. 30. Domestication: the first plant breeders The practice of artificial selection has been practiced by farmers for thousands of years and has transformed wild plants into the crops we depend on today through this process of domestication
  31. 31. Domestication traits: traits that distinguish seed & fruit crops from their progenitors
  32. 32. Crop origins and diversification Science 316, 1830-1835 ESEB Congress, Uppsala, Sweden, August 2007
  33. 33. Little overlap between centres of origin & today’s productive agriculture. Nature Vol 418, 700-707 ESEB Congress, Uppsala, Sweden, August 2007
  34. 34. Gene Banks • • • • • • • Preserve Diversity Collections, libraries International, National and Local Curation Need maintenance, checking for viability.. Access Link to other information
  35. 35. ‘all life depends on sunlight and a green leaf’ BIOLOGY is the science of the natural world & critical to the future of agriculture.
  36. 36. Courtesy Tobert Rocheford and Catherine Bermudez Kandianis Keith Weller Keith Weller Scott Bauer Doug Wilson
  37. 37. • Organisation and Importance of Diversity • Linking biological knowledge to seed bank collections • Selection is a powerful tool but need to understand & know what to select for • The characteristics of plants are controlled by genes.
  38. 38. DNA - the code for life • The DNA code consists of just 4 building blocks: – A, C, T and G. A C T G ...GCCTTACG… ....ACTGCCTGGAAC…. ….TGACGGACCTTG…. Source: Microsoft Encarta • Whether we are bacteria, fungi earthworms, mushrooms or humans our DNA has the same building blocks, just in a different order. Source: M icrosoft Encarta
  39. 39. Maize has more molecular diversity than humans and apes combined 1.34% 0.09% 1.42% Silent Diversity (Zhao PNAS 2000; Tenallion et al, PNAS 2001)
  40. 40. Genes (Every organism carries inside itself what are known as genes) • DNA is divided into sections called genes. • Each gene codes for a protein • Each protein has a function • DNA makes up the chromosomes
  41. 41. Chromosome changes: mutations
  42. 42. DNA isolation • • • • • • DNA Chromosomes Nucleus Cells Tissues (Fruits)
  43. 43. Genes provide the foundation of new products for farmers Genes Protein yield? tolerance to drought? flowering time? Trait biomass utility? improved agronomy? tolerance to cold? Product
  44. 44. Wheat a classic allo-hexaploid Science Vol 316, 1862-1866 ESEB Congress, Uppsala, Sweden, August 2007
  45. 45. Plant Breeding: Mining Diversity • • SHW back-crossing by CIMMYT Identified reduced group of 94 for back-crossing to Xi19 & Paragon by diversity analysis • Develop UK adapted synthetic backcross derived lines (SHW-D) approx. 6,000 lines • SHW back-crossing by NIAB Genotypic and phenotypic assessment of 440 CIMMYT primary SHW Assess agronomic characteristics of SHW-D including pest & disease resistance, yield components, drought tolerance and nitrogen use efficiency
  46. 46. Paragon x SHW BC1F2 selections Delayed senescence Increased grain sites
  47. 47. Drought in Africa between now and 2090 Red, Orange = More prone to drought Blue = Wetter and less prone to drought Hadley Centre, Met Office, UK
  48. 48. Evaluation of drought tolerance High spike photosynthesis Stem reserves High preanthesis biomass Cellular traits: osmotic adjustment, heat tolerance, etc. Leaf traits: wax, rolling, thickness, etc. Early ground cover Long coleoptile Large seed Water relations: stomatal conductance, etc.
  49. 49. Drought assessment at CIMMYT Mexico Drought trials at Obregon, N. Mexico Tractor-mounted Giddings soil corer
  50. 50. Conventional pedigree selection Reproduced from Koebner & Summers 2003
  51. 51. Marker- Aided Selection • Isolating DNA • ‘Cutting’ into pieces • Amplifying • Visualising • Locating
  52. 52. Chromosome changes: mutations
  53. 53. • A new characteristic is the result of gene mutation • Genes can be amplified and ‘seen’ as molecular markers. • Breeders are choosing genes or combinations of genes which give the characters the farmer needs • The crop is then multiplied and sold
  54. 54. Tissue Culture • Margaret Karembu of ISAAA talking about TC in bananas
  55. 55. Genetics • The science underlying plant breeding.
  56. 56. Heredity •Heredity is the passing of traits to offspring (from its parent or ancestors). Offspring resemble their parents more than they resemble unrelated individuals (why is this so?)
  57. 57. Charles Darwin Evolution is driven by natural selection
  58. 58. Darwin’s mentor Great Teachers often feature in the development of Great People!
  59. 59. Gregor Johann Mendel, (b. 22 July 1822; d. 6 January 1884) Moravia, Austro-Hungarian Empire Brno (Czech Rep.) Experimemts, 1856-1870 Originator of the concept of the gene (autosomal inheritance) Birthplace of Modern Genetic Analysis Augustinian monastry garden, St. Thomas, Brünn, Austria
  60. 60. Mendel’s Laws • Law of equal segregation (First Law) The two members of a gene pair segregate from each other into the gametes; so that half the gametes carry one member of the pair and the other half of the gametes carry the other member of the pair. • Law of Independent Assortment (Second Law) - different gene pairs assort independently during gamete formation
  61. 61. Reasons for choosing to study garden pea •Can be grown in a small area •Produce lots of offspring •Easily identifiable traits •Can be artificially crosspollinated
  62. 62. A pea flower with the keel cut and opened to expose the reproductive parts
  63. 63. Artificial cross pollination
  64. 64. Genes (The genes are codes or messages. They carry information. The information they carry is used to tell the organism what chemicals it needs to make in order to survive, grow or reproduce ) • Genes make us who we are • We receive our genes from our parents • The same is true for all animals, plants and microbes
  65. 65. The seven character differences studied by Mendel
  66. 66. purple-flowered (f) x white flowered (m)
  67. 67. Summary and conclusions of Mendel’s experiments •After crossing pure parental strains, the F1 produced 100% of one character. •After self-pollinating the F1, both characters showed up in a 3:1 ratio. •Because the same types of ratio kept coming up, Mendel believed that there must be some mathematical formula or explanation for the observed data •The first assumption made by Mendel was that there must be a ”pair of factors” that controls the trait in pea plant. This “pair of factors” idea helped him formulate his principles
  68. 68. Dominant and recessive traits
  69. 69. Mendel’s Laws • Law of equal segregation (First Law) The two members of a gene pair segregate from each other into the gametes; so that half the gametes carry one member of the pair and the other half of the gametes carry the other member of the pair. • Law of Independent Assortment (Second Law) - different gene pairs assort independently during gamete formation
  70. 70. Information from genes.
  71. 71. Dr Tina Barsby Plant Science into Practice •Agriculture depends on plant breeding, choosing the best, crossing the best with the best and hoping for the best… •With a little guidance from genetics! •Multiplication and propagation
  72. 72. Dr Tina Barsby Plant Science into Practice •Developing an industry-wide resource, showcasing new technology and innovation in plant genetic development for the agriculture and horticulture sectors, on themes of:
  73. 73. Sexual reproduction in plants
  74. 74. F1 Hybrids ESEB Congress, Uppsala, Sweden, August 2007
  75. 75. Hybrid vrs Open pollinated maize On the left, a local landrace variety On the right a new, hybrid maize variety developed by CIMMYT with PASS funding.
  76. 76. USA: Historic Maize Yields 6 5 Yield (tonnes/ha) 4 3 2 1 0 1875 1925 To put your footer here go to View > Header and Footer 1975 85
  77. 77. History of Hybrids in Sorghum 5000 United States 4500 3500 3000 2500 2000 Inbred Varieties 1500 Hybrid Cultivars 1000 500 Year 1997 1993 1989 1985 1981 1977 1973 1969 1965 1961 1957 1953 1949 1945 1941 1937 1933 0 1929 Yield (kg/ha) 4000
  78. 78. Hybrid Seed Production – Getting the cross • Hybrids are produced by hand emasculation in corn. • In wheat, chemicals are used to sterilize the pollen. • Cytoplasmic male sterility (CMS) is used for hybrid seed production in sorghum and pearl millet.
  79. 79. Training of Seed Growers in Hybrid Production Crossing A and B lines Heat sterilization of pollen using polythene bag Identifying the different parts of the sorghum plant
  80. 80. Concepts of Hybrid Production - Hybrid Vigour (Heterosis) Hybrid Vigour is the superiority of progeny (offspring) (F1) over the mean of its two parents (P) heterozygous heterosis inbreeding depression homozygous selfing
  81. 81. • Making FI Hybrids • And the F2…
  82. 82. Dr Tina Barsby Plant Science into Practice •Developing an industry-wide resource, showcasing new technology and innovation in plant genetic development for the agriculture and horticulture sectors, on themes of:

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