Temperature and vernalisation regulation of seed properties in Brassica napus

Doherty, Rebecca (2022) Temperature and vernalisation regulation of seed properties in Brassica napus. Doctoral thesis, University of East Anglia.

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As the global climate changes and temperatures increase in coming decades, crop yields are likely to be threatened. This includes in the UK, where warmer winters and summer heatwaves are expected to become more common. To ensure food production remains stable, it will be necessary to breed crops which can withstand these changing temperatures.

In Brassica napus, seed properties including seed size, the number of seeds produced, and percentage of seed oil are all factors contributing to the yield. It is known that yield stability in Brassica napus is impacted by temperature during seed development and vernalisation. The effects of temperature on seed properties have been seen in Arabidopsis thaliana. Studies in Brassica napus have examined the genetic basis of yield separately to investigating how yield changes under different temperatures. However, the genetic basis of differences in how yield is affected by temperature has not yet been explored in-depth in Brassica napus.

This thesis uses phenotypic approaches, transcriptome profiling and associative transcriptomics to describe the effect of vernalisation temperature, as well as temperature during seed set and seed maturation, on seed traits and gene expression in Brassica napus. This work reports a decrease in seed weight and seed number per pod associated with increasing seed maturation temperature from 18°C to 24°C, as well as with increasing vernalisation temperature from 5°C to 15°C. These results indicate that warmer temperatures lead to reductions in yield-related traits, particularly in Winter OSR. The decrease in mature seed size of Winter OSR resulting from an increased vernalisation temperature of 15°C were found to arise during a developmental window between 14 and 21 days after pollination. Associated changes in gene expression were described, including reduced expression of FLC genes in seeds produced by plants vernalised at 15°C compared to 5°C.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Science > School of Biological Sciences
Depositing User: Chris White
Date Deposited: 13 Jun 2023 12:49
Last Modified: 13 Jun 2023 12:49
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/92367


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