Underutilized Crops for Secure and Green Futures
Gardner, Elliot M. , Zerega, Nyree .
Basic research with practical applications: Phylogenomics and pollination biology in a genus of underutilized tree crops (Artocarpus, Moraceae).
Underutilized crops are often also understudied, lacking the basic research that might enable their improvement and wider adoption. Understanding basic details about their evolution and reproduction can advance basic science and can also be leveraged to develop resources for their improvement and promotion. The genus Artocarpus J.R. and G. Forst. (Moraceae, ca.70 species of monoecious trees) has a center of diversity in the lowland tropical forests of Southeast Asia and includes two pantropically important, but underutilized, crops: breadfruit and jackfruit. In addition, the genus contains other crops of regional importance, such as A. integer (cempedak) and A. odoratissimus (terap), and more than a dozen largely uncultivated but prized fruit crops that are wild collected or grown on local scales. A draft genome of A. camansi (a wild progenitor of breadfruit) was assembled to identify hundreds of genes for resequencing using a target enrichment approach. A phylogenomic reconstruction of the genus based on 360 genes is presented in combination with results of preliminary pollination experiments to illuminate evolutionary transitions between wind and insect pollination in the genus. These results provide a context for understanding the evolution of a unique tripartite pollination mutualism involving gall midges and a parasitic fungus. We also discuss how this basic research can be applied to the promotion of underutilized Artocarpus crops, from microsatellite marker development for germplasm characterization to the practical benefits of a better understanding of pollination biology from a crop perspective.
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1 - Northwestern University / Chicago Botanic Garden, Plant Biology and Conservation, 2205 Tech Drive, 2-144 Hogan Hall, Evanston, IL, 60208, USA
Presentation Type: Symposium Presentation
Location: Salon 17/18/The Shaw Conference Centre
Date: Tuesday, July 28th, 2015
Time: 10:15 AM
Candidate for Awards:None