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Oilseed Rape Genetic Improvement Network - CH0104

Oilseed rape (Brassica napus) is the UK’s third most valuable crop (£702m; Agriculture in the UK Defra, 2010) and its principal oil crop. The environmental footprint of the crop is substantial, being cultivated on ~700,000 ha (2011-12 AHDB survey) and currently requiring relatively high fertiliser inputs to secure yield. Its popularity in the arable rotation can be attributed partly to its beneficial impact on the yield of following cereal crops, but it also to its profitability as a consequence of continuing high demand (and prices: ~$1000 per tonne) for rapeseed oil.
OREGIN will act as a 'platform' supporting applied strategic genetics research for oilseed rape, with the ultimate aim of introducing beneficial traits in terms of economic and environmental sustainability into this crop. Previously collaborative research with industry (LINK, TSB-SAFIP, BBSRC CIRC, and now Agri-Tech) has used OREGIN germplasm, mapping populations and diversity sets to bring desirable traits into variety breeding.
This new phase will build a new strategic network of stakeholders encompassing the main academic and industrial interests, to identify more new traits that should be priorities and to provide a route for market delivery of R&D outcomes or to feed into new cut-crossing government strategies.
This is an area of market failure, lying between BBSRC science and direct commercial (near market) industry funding. Industry on its own regards it as too speculative, long-term or risky and SMEs and farmers in particular do not have the capacity to invest directly in pre-breeding genetics.

This project aims to produce novel pre-competitive genetic information to create a set of oilseed rape lines tailored to manage risks and contingencies in the UK's changing rural economy and environment with the final objective of enhancing British crop production competitiveness. It will build a new strategic network encompassing the main academic and industrial stakeholders in the oilseed rape field to identify the traits that should be priorities as well as other pre-breeding research avenues and to provide a route for market delivery of R&D outcomes or to feed into new cut-crossing government strategies. The novel methodologies and traits taken forward in this project will be the ones highlighted by stakeholders as valuable for the industry and UK market demands as well as the ones with potential to be up taken in Technology Strategy Board’s Sustainable Agriculture and Food Innovation Platform (TSB-SAFIP), Agricultural technologies (Agri-tech)nd other equivalent strategies. 
OREGIN will create and sustain a new stakeholder network for oilseed rape meanwhile attracting supplementary funding; it will engage with wide-ranging projects in UK, EU and world-wide to maximise opportunities for UK rapeseed improvement.
This project should maintain oilseed rape germplasm, produce new mapping populations for important commercial traits (i.e. disease resistance, seed composition/yield, crop establishment and rooting traits) in oilseed rape, new genetic tools to analyse existing germplasm and subsequently manage field trials of selected lines to facilitate the incorporation of beneficial genes into breeding programmes.

This project will develop new molecular markers for seed quality and other traits predicted to expand oilseed rape’s market potential and will ensure the uptake of modern breeding programmes, including those based on transcriptome and new genome sequencing techniques.
Project Documents
• EVID4 - Final project report : CH0104 Finalreport   (6982k)
• OTH - Other : CH0104 Appendix to final report   (7323k)
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 2015

To: 2017

Cost: £556,001
Contractor / Funded Organisations
University of York
Biotech-non GM              
Disease Control