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INRAE

24, chemin de Borde Rouge -Auzeville - CS52627 31326 Castanet Tolosan cedex - France

Last update: May 2021

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BrasExplor

BrasExplor
Wide exploration of genetic diversity in Brassica species for sustainable crop production
  • 3 years program (2020-2023)
  • 777k€ (190 k€ IGEPP)
  • Founding: H2020 Prima
  • Coordinators: Anne-Marie Chèvre (INRAE IGEPP)
  • Contact: anne-marie.chevre@inrae.fr

Context

Mediterranean agriculture has to face great challenges to overcome global warming and improve farming system sustainability while maintaining crop production and quality. Regarding crop improvement, there are at least two main questions to consider: (i) which type of genetic diversity should we produce to withstand the new climatic regime? and (ii) on which material can we develop relevant varieties in this erratic context? Intensive farming systems and particularly modern breeding methods have driven a drastic decrease of cultivated genetic diversity. However, local landraces and wild forms are a great source of new genetic diversity. They represent the main levers to tackle the above mentioned challenges but for most crop species this material was never collected or is not available or has been poorly analyzed. The Mediterranean region comprises a large diversity of landscapes and exhibits highly contrasted environmental conditions (climate, soils and biotic factors). The phenotypic and genetic variations of natural populations or traditionally cultivated populations growing along these environmental gradients have been shaped by the local environmental contexts. Exploring such populations for two endemic species, Brassica oleracea and B. rapa, represents a unique opportunity to identify relevant material and their adaptive traits to face upcoming climate change in the Mediterranean area and so to contribute to biodiversity-based agriculture in this area. 

Objectives

We will explore the diversity of two economically important vegetable species of the Brassica genus (B. oleracea and B. rapa) endemic of Mediterranean Basin, and growing from the North of Europe to sub-Saharan regions. We will collect locally cultivated varieties such as cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, kale, kohlrabi for B. oleracea and turnip or turnip rape for B. rapa in each partner country. In addition, we will collect natural populations of these two species across a broad environmental gradient encompassing climate and soil variation. This broad sampling will be used to (i) identify genomic regions involved in the adaptation of B. oleracea and B. rapa to environmental variations, (ii) determine the genetic bases of these traits underlying local adaptation, (iii) develop new agronomic material with relevant traits in the context of climate change for both Brassica species, (iv) promote local landraces.

Partners

  • P1 andCoordinator A.M. Chèvre, IGEPP, INRAE Le Rheu, France
  • P2 J. Ronfort, AGAP, INRAE Montpellier, France
  • P3 M.H. Wagner, GEVES Angers, France
  • P4 H. Hadj-Arab, USTHB, Alger, Algeria
  • P5 H. Arrar, ITCMI, Alger, Algeria
  • P6 F. Boussad, INRAA, Alger, Algeria
  • 7 M. Pineiro, INIA, Madrid, Spain
  • P8 T. R’Him, INRAT, Menzah-Tunis,Tunisia
  • P10 V. Meglic, KIS, Ljubljana, Slovenia
  • P11 V. Terzi, CREA-GB, Fiorenzuola d’Arda, Italy
  • P12 A. Geraci, UNIPA, Palermo, Italy

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