Richard Michelmore, University of California, Davis, CA.
Steve Knapp, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR.
Loren Rieseberg, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN.
Rick Kesseli, University of Massachusetts, Boston, MA.
Kent Bradford, University of California, Davis, CA.
Louise Jackson, University of California, Davis, CA.
Sunflower (Helianthus annuus) and lettuce (Lactuca sativa) are economically-important members of the Compositae,
an ecologically successful and genetically diverse family. We will develop permanent resources for functional and comparative
genomics of lettuce and sunflower. This consortium will capitalize on the wealth of knowledge being developed for Arabidopsis.
Wild and domesticated forms of lettuce and sunflower are dramatically different. The lack of information on the genetic basis
of these differences and their linkage relationships has slowed introgression of useful traits from wild germplasm. We will study
the genes underlying agriculturally important, qualitative and quantitative traits by conducting parallel genetic analyses on
lettuce and sunflower to dissect the genetic basis of traits that distinguish domesticated from wild forms of lettuce and sunflower.
We will (i) generate an extensive expressed sequence tag (EST) databases from two different genotypes each of lettuce and sunflower
(~80,000 total), (ii) determine the extent of synteny among sunflower, lettuce and Arabidopsis by mapping known sequences in lettuce
and sunflower and by comparison to the genomic sequence of Arabidopsis, (iii) conduct quantitative trait locus (QTL) and candidate
gene analyses of domestication traits, and (iv) develop a genetic approach to the control of expression levels of candidate genes.
We will determine the genetic bases and linkage relationships of metabolic and morphological changes associated with domestication.
This will allow the development of PCR-based markers for high-throughput genetic analyses. It will show the extent of synteny between
the two major divisions within the Compositae and with Arabidopsis for sequenced genes and QTLs.