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Wisconsin Fast Plants Program Research Notes

The Wisconsin Fast Plants research team is continually improving and developing new lines of Fast Plants and other Rapid-cycling Brassicas. One of our current breeding projects aims to re-stabilize the genetics of the Rosette-Dwarf Fast Plants stock. This project began after observation of a low frequency off-type trait, a green stem, that is undesirable for this stock. The goal is to breed out any plants with the undesirable green stem trait, thus ensuring that the Rosette-Dwarf stock is true breeding for high purple anthocyanin pigment expression.

Seven day old Rosette-Dwarf seedling with visible cotyledons and expanding true leaves

To accomplish this project, we need to produce a Rosette-Dwarf population without any green stems. This poses a challenge, because the green stem trait is controlled by a recessive gene. Therefore, a plant may appear purple (the dominant trait) while still being heterozygous for the undesirable green stem, making visual identification of off-types difficult. A unique approach was needed to identify and remove off-types from the population.

Seeding phenotypes demonstrate that Purple Stem trait is dominant and Non-Purple (green) Stem is recessive

Stem color phenotypes, for given dominant/recessive genotypes

Plants that are heterozygous for a recessive trait can be indirectly identified: by individually self-pollinating* each plant in a large population of parent plants and then examining the phenotypes of the offspring. This practice applies Mendelian principles of inheritance in observing selfed-offspring phenotypes to determine the genotype of a parent plant. However, as discussed in a previous entry on pollination, Fast Plants typically require cross pollination to produce seed.**

*Self-pollination occurs when pollen from one individual plant is transferred to a flower on the same individual plant (i.e. the plant is fertilized with its own pollen). This contrasts with cross-pollination in which pollen from one plant is transferred to a flower on a second plant.

**Fast Plants require special techniques at the appropriate time in a plant’s development to accomplish self-pollination.

To learn more about this ongoing project, await our upcoming blog (current blogs can be viewed here) and follow us on social media to stay in the loop!

Click to browse info about available Fast Plants seed stocks
From:
    Fast Plants Newsletter

Last Edited: April 10th, 2023 at 2:25pm by kbouda

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