Paul Eckermann

University of Adelaide, Tarndarnya, South Australia, Australia

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Publications (5)14.49 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Root systems are critical for water and nutrient acquisition by crops. Current methods measuring root biomass and length are slow and labour-intensive for studying root responses to environmental stresses in the field. Here, we report the development of a method that measures changes in the root DNA concentration in soil and detects root responses to drought in controlled environment and field trials. To allow comparison of soil DNA concentrations from different wheat genotypes, we also developed a procedure for correcting genotypic differences in the copy number of the target DNA sequence. The new method eliminates the need for separation of roots from soil and permits large-scale phenotyping of root responses to drought or other environmental and disease stresses in the field.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2013 · Scientific Reports
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    ABSTRACT: We identified quantitative trait loci (QTL) underlying variation for flowering time in a doubled haploid (DH) population of vernalisation-responsive canola (Brassica napus L.) cultivars Skipton and Ag-Spectrum and aligned them with physical map positions of predicted flowering genes from the Brassica rapa genome. Significant genetic variation in flowering time and response to vernalisation were observed among the DH lines from Skipton/Ag-Spectrum. A molecular linkage map was generated comprising 674 simple sequence repeat, sequence-related amplified polymorphism, sequence characterised amplified region, Diversity Array Technology, and candidate gene based markers loci. QTL analysis indicated that flowering time is a complex trait and is controlled by at least 20 loci, localised on ten different chromosomes. These loci each accounted for between 2.4 and 28.6 % of the total genotypic variation for first flowering and response to vernalisation. However, identification of consistent QTL was found to be dependant upon growing environments. We compared the locations of QTL with the physical positions of predicted flowering time genes located on the sequenced genome of B. rapa. Some QTL associated with flowering time on A02, A03, A07, and C06 may represent homologues of known flowering time genes in Arabidopsis; VERNALISATION INSENSITIVE 3, APETALA1, CAULIFLOWER, FLOWERING LOCUS C, FLOWERING LOCUS T, CURLY LEAF, SHORT VEGETATIVE PHASE, GA3 OXIDASE, and LEAFY. Identification of the chromosomal location and effect of the genes influencing flowering time may hasten the development of canola varieties having an optimal time for flowering in target environments such as for low rainfall areas, via marker-assisted selection.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2012 · Theoretical and Applied Genetics
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    ABSTRACT: Blackleg, caused by Leptosphaeria maculans, is one of the most important diseases of oilseed and vegetable crucifiers worldwide. The present study describes (1) the construction of a genetic linkage map, comprising 255 markers, based upon simple sequence repeats (SSR), sequence-related amplified polymorphism, sequence tagged sites, and EST-SSRs and (2) the localization of qualitative (race-specific) and quantitative (race non-specific) trait loci controlling blackleg resistance in a doubled-haploid population derived from the Australian canola (Brassica napus L.) cultivars Skipton and Ag-Spectrum using the whole-genome average interval mapping approach. Marker regression analyses revealed that at least 14 genomic regions with LOD ≥ 2.0 were associated with qualitative and quantitative blackleg resistance, explaining 4.6-88.9 % of genotypic variation. A major qualitative locus, designated RlmSkipton (Rlm4), was mapped on chromosome A7, within 0.8 cM of the SSR marker Xbrms075. Alignment of the molecular markers underlying this QTL region with the genome sequence data of B. rapa L. suggests that RlmSkipton is located approximately 80 kb from the Xbrms075 locus. Molecular marker-RlmSkipton linkage was further validated in an F(2) population from Skipton/Ag-Spectrum. Our results show that SSR markers linked to consistent genomic regions are suitable for enrichment of favourable alleles for blackleg resistance in canola breeding programs.
    No preview · Article · Mar 2012 · Theoretical and Applied Genetics
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    ABSTRACT: To enhance genetic maps of barley previously developed in Australia for identifying markers useable in molecular breeding, a new set of simple sequence repeat (SSR) and indel markers was added to the maps. These markers were developed through (i) database mining of barley expressed sequence tag (EST) sequences, (ii) comparative barley-rice genome analysis, and (iii) screening of a genomic library with SSR probes. The primer set selected for this study comprised 216 EST-SSR (eSSR) and 25 genomic SSR (gSSR) markers, which were screened for polymorphism on 4 doubled haploid (DH) or recombinant inbred line (RIL) populations. In total, 81 new markers were added to the maps, with good coverage on all 7 chromosomes, except 6H, which only had 2 new markers added. The marker order of previously published maps was re-evaluated by comparing recombination fractions calculated by 2 methods to discover the best position for each marker. The new SSR markers were then added to the updated maps. Several of these new markers are linked to important barley disease resistance genes such as those for cereal cyst nematode, spot form of net blotch, and leaf scald resistance, and are readily useable for marker-assisted barley breeding. The new maps are available on-line at www. genica. net. au.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2006 · Australian Journal of Agricultural Research

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