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NATIONAL PROGRAM 302: PLANT BIOLOGICAL AND MOLECULAR PROCESSES THE LAST 5 YEARS

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NATIONAL PROGRAM 302: PLANT BIOLOGICAL AND MOLECULAR PROCESSES THE LAST 5 YEARS. Leon Kochian, Don Ort and Carroll Vance. Our analysis will set the stage for the presentation by the external peer review team What is National Program 302? How was the self analysis report generated?

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slide1

NATIONAL PROGRAM 302: PLANT BIOLOGICAL AND MOLECULAR PROCESSES

THE LAST 5 YEARS

Leon Kochian, Don Ort and Carroll Vance

slide2

Our analysis will set the stage for the presentation by the external peer review team

  • What is National Program 302?
  • How was the self analysis report generated?
  • Overview of NP302 research over the last 5 years
  • What about the next 5 years?
slide3

National Program 302 is Unique Within ARS

  • Mission is to conduct fundamental research on plant processes. This program does not focus on specific crops/traits, although research on both model plant and many crop species is conducted.
  • This information is used by scientists in this and other national programs for crop improvement with regards to:
    • Crop productivity and efficiency
    • Crop quality and safety
    • Improved tolerance to biotic and abiotic stresses
    • Improved environmental quality
  • Thus NP302 cross-cuts other national programs with regards to their problem solving missions, and is based on an integrative approach across all levels of biological organization (from genes to the crop in the field)
slide4

NP 302 PROGRAM COMPONENTS

  • Component I. Analysis and Modification of Plant Genomes
    • Molecular Characterization of Plant Genetic Systems
    • Plant Transformation Systems and Influence of Transgenes
    • on Genome Structure and Function
  • Component II. Biological Processes That Determine Plant Productivity and Quality
    • Plant Productivity and Efficiency of Resource Use
    • Plant Tolerance to Environmental Stresses
    • Biological Basis for Expression of Value-added Traits
  • Component III. Mechanisms of Plant Interactions with Other Organisms
    • Crop Plant Interactions with Beneficial Microorganisms
    • Biological Interactions that Impact Food Safety, and Secondary Plant
    • Products
    • Biological Interactions that Reduce Environmental Pollution
the challenge for 21 st century agriculture
The Challenge for 21st Century Agriculture
  • The major challenge is to increase both crop yields and the land area
  • under production.
  • This will mean getting more from less – sustainably increasing yields
  • on marginal soils
slide6

NP 302 ADDRESSES THE FUNDAMENTAL BIOLOGY OF CRITICAL ISSUES IN AGRICULTURE

  • Crop Genomics and Proteomics (Tool Development)
  • Mechanisms Regulating Photosynthesis
  • Shoot and Root Development
  • Biotic and Abiotic Stress
  • Germplasm Improvement
  • Plant Metabolism
  • Flowering
  • Biotechnology Risk Assessment
slide7

The Process: How Was the Self Assessment Generated?

  • Questionnaire was sent out to all lead scientists of CRIS projects for which 302 was a major or minor component
  • Scientists provided information on:
    • Research focus for their CRIS
    • Research accomplishments (in the context of the “big picture”)
    • Quantitative data relating to research progress
    • Issues to be addressed for next five year Action Plan
  • CRIS annual reports were also used
slide8

DEVELOPMENT OF FUNCTIONAL AND COMPARATIVE GENOMICS RESOURCES

  • Functional Genomics
  • EST Sequencing
  • Transformation
  • Promoter Identification
  • Micro (Macro) Arrays
  • Proteomics
  • Tilling
  • Comparative Genomics
  • Integrated Genetic/Physical
  • Maps
  • SNP Development
  • Development of other Mapping
  • Resources
  • Computational Biology
slide9

BIOTECHNOLOGY RISK ASSESSMENT

  • Chloroplast transformation to limit transgene
  • drift
  • Genes to reduce pollen fertility in GE plants
  • Non-antibiotic resistant selectable markers
  • Site specific transformation systems for more precise DNA insertion
  • Constructs for multiple (stacked) gene insertion
slide10

BIOCHEMISTRY/PHYSIOLOGY OF PLANT FUNCTION

  • Plant development
  • Photosynthesis
  • Carbon assimilation
  • Secondary plant metabolism
  • Enhanced crop quality
  • Signal transduction
slide11

PLANT FUNCTION: ACCOMPLISHMENTS

  • Molecular/biochemical regulation of C and N assimilation
  • Signaling between pollen and pistil (regulation of pollen fertility and hybrid production)
  • Molecular regulation of lignin synthesis
  • Increased S-amino acids in soy protein
  • Hypo-allergenic products
    • soybean protein
    • guayule latex
  • Increased -carotene, lycopene & other carotenoids
  • Neutraceuticals (i.e. resveratrol)
abiotic and biotic interactions
ABIOTIC AND BIOTIC INTERACTIONS
  • Plant interactions with beneficial organisms: rhizobia, mycorrhizae and endophytes
  • Plant disease resistance
  • Plant interactions with pests
  • Mineral nutrient uptake and tolerance to metal stresses in the soil
  • Tolerance to temperature extremes and drought
biotic interactions accomplishments
BIOTIC INTERACTIONS: ACCOMPLISHMENTS
  • Gene expression profiling has identified novel root nodule specific genes
  • Knockouts for root nodule genes developed in legumes
  • Resistance genes for SCN and hessian fly identified
  • Reduction of mycotoxins in food crops
    • Breeding (both traditional and molecular) for resistance to toxin producing fungi
    • Mode of action & genes to reduce Fusarium toxins
    • Metabolite screening in resistant crops to identify plant compounds that inhibit fungal growth & mycotoxin production
abiotic interactions accomplishments
ABIOTIC INTERACTIONS: ACCOMPLISHMENTS
  • Crop tolerance to high temperature
    • Rubisco activase & other enzymes
    • Restored cell function after damage
    • Assays for ‘heat tolerance’ genes
  • Improved water-use efficiency
  • Genes that enhance plant survival to freezing temperatures
  • Genes and mechanisms of plant tolerance to toxic metals (heavy metals and aluminum)
  • Genetic and physiological basis for mineral nutrient efficiency
slide15

IMPACT AND LEVERAGE

  • ARS scientists in NP 302 are proactive in expanding and leveraging their resources
    • Actively competing for and securing NSF, NRI, DOE, BARD grants
    • Training of PhD students and postdoctoral
    • associates
  • Indicators of impact
    • Publications in high profile journals
    • Extramural grant funding
    • Service on editorial boards, scientific societies, and extramural grant panels
slide16

THE NEXT FIVE YEARS

  • What emergent or re-emergent areas need to be addressed within the new NP 302 Action Plan?
  • What strategies will best ensure access of ARS scientists to enabling technologies as they become available?
  • What are the best strategies and tools to help promote integration of interdisciplinary research both within NP 302 and between 302 and other national programs?