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Crop Centre in Print

Please find the latest journal publications from the Crop Centre listed below.

Read our articles in the Vegetable Farmer

For a full list of publications from the School of Life Sciences please visit the Latest Journal Publications

Development of a Statistical Crop Model to Explain the Relationship between Seed Yield and Phenotypic Diversity within the Brassica napus Genepool


Emma J Bennett, Christopher J Brignell, Pierre WC Carion, Samantha M Cook, Peter J Eastmond, Graham R Teakle, John P Hammnd, Clare Love, Graham J King, Jeremy A Roberts and Carol Wagstaff

Plants are extremely versatile organisms that respond to the environment in which they find themselves, but a large part of their development is under genetic regulation. The links between developmental parameters and yield are poorly understood in oilseed rape; understanding this relationship will help growers to predict their yields more accurately and breeders to focus on traits that may lead to yield improvements. Assessing the diversity that exists within the B. napus gene pool has highlighted architectural, seed and mineral composition traits that should be targeted in breeding programmes through the development of linked markers to improve crop yields.

Agronomy. April 2017

Thu 27 April 2017, 08:04

Eukaryotic translation initiation factor 2B-beta (eIF2Bβ), a new class of plant virus resistance gene

Plant Journal feb17Shopan Jannat, Haipeng Mou, Lili Zhang, Changtong Zhang, Weiwei Ma, John A. Walsh, Zhongyuan Hu, Jinghua Yang, Mingfang Zhang

Recessive resistances to plant viruses in the Potyvirus genus have been found to be based on mutations in the plant eukaryotic translation initiation factors, eIF4E and eIF4G or their isoforms. Here we report that natural, monogenic recessive resistance to the potyvirus Turnip mosaic virus (TuMV) has been found in a number of mustard (Brassica juncea) accessions. Our findings provide a new target for seeking natural resistance to potyviruses and new opportunities for the control of potyviruses using genome editing techniques targeted on eIF2Bβ.

The Plant Journal. February 2017

Tue 14 March 2017, 15:27

John Clarkson Publications

Plant Disease feb17First report of sclerotinia subarctica nom. prov. (Sclerotinia sp. 1) causing stem rot on turnip rape (Brassica rapa subsp. oleifera) in Norway

Brodal G, Warmington R, Grieu C, Ficke A, Clarkson JP

During August 2013, white-grayish lesions, typical of Sclerotinia stem rot, had developed around leaf axils on the stems of turnip rape ‘Pepita’ in a field at the NIBIO research station Apelsvoll in Oppland County, Norway. Sclerotina were collected from inside infected turnip rape stubble and from harvested seeds, surface sterilized, bisected, and placed onto potato dextrose agar (PDA). Although S. subarctica has been previously reported on wild hosts, this is the first report of the pathogen on a crop plant in Norway.
Plant Disease. February 2017


Plant Disease feb17First report of Fusarium oxysporum causing a vascular wilt of statice (Limonium sinuatum) in the UK

Taylor, Andrew, Sims, Isabel, Jackson, Alison C. and Clarkson, John P

Statice (Limonium sinuatum) is grown commercially in many countries as a cut-flower crop. Fungal and oomycete pathogens reported for this plant include Colletotrichum, Botrytis, Cercospora, Rhizoctonia, and Peronospora (Moorman 2016). In the UK, 80% of all statice production (2.5 ha, value $800,000) is through a specialist grower in Lincolnshire. To our knowledge, this is the first report of Fusarium wilt of statice. Further work is required to establish the host range of this potentially new forma specialis.
Plant Disease. February 2017

Fri 10 March 2017, 15:45

Who is sowing our seeds? A systematic review of the use of plant genetic resources in research

Genetic Resources and Crop EvolutionL. R. Davies; C. J. Allender

Collections of plant genetic resources managed by genebanks function to conserve the range of genetic diversity present in crop genepools. They can facilitate access to valuable allelic variation for both plant breeders and researchers who are able to request germplasm for use in crop improvement and both basic and applied scientific research. The direct impact of genebank collections is often unclear as downstream uses of germplasm samples may not be reported back to the genebank of origin.
This study aims to systematically review scientific use of germplasm using the UK Vegetable Genebank (UKVGB) as a model.

Genetic Resources and Crop Evolution, January 2017

Tue 21 February 2017, 10:26

Towards new sources of resistance to the currant-lettuce aphid (Nasonovia ribisnigri)

Molecular BreedingPeter G. Walley, Gemma Hough, Jonathan D. Moore, John Carder, Marian Elliott, Andrew Mead, Julie Jones, Graham Teakle, Guy Barker, Vicky Buchanan-Wollaston, Paul Hand, David Pink, Rosemary Collier

Domesticated lettuce varieties encompass much morphological variation across a range of crop type groups, with large collections of cultivars and landrace accessions maintained in genebanks. Additional variation not captured during domestication, present in ancestral wild relatives, represents a potentially rich source of alleles that can deliver to sustainable crop production. However, these large collections are difficult and costly to screen for many agronomically important traits.

In this paper, we describe the generation of a diversity collection of 96 lettuce and wild species accessions that are amenable to routine phenotypic analysis and their genotypic characterization with a panel of 682 newly developed expressed sequence tag (EST)-linked KASP™ single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) markers that are anchored to the draft Lactuca sativa genome assembly. To exemplify the utility of these resources, we screened the collection for putative sources of resistance to currant-lettuce aphid (Nasonovia ribisnigri) and carried out association analyses to look for potential SNPs linked to resistance.

Molecular Breeding, January 2017, 37:4


Mon 09 January 2017, 14:01

Mitigation of diffuse water pollution from agriculture in England and China, and the scope for policy transfer

Land Use PolicySmith, Laurence, Inman, Alex, Lai, Xin, Zhang, Haifang, Fanqiao, Meng, Jianbin, Zhou, Burke, Sean, Rahn, C. (Clive), Siciliano, Giusippina, Haygarth, Philip M., Bellarby, Jessica and Surridge, Ben

This paper evaluates the existing policy frameworks for mitigation of diffuse water pollution from agriculture (DWPA) in England and China. With reference to a conceptual model of the process of policy transfer or international lesson drawing, and possible constraints to this, it assesses whether and how China can draw lessons to improve current policy from the supra-national and national provisions of the EU and a member state that by 2016 had comprehensively implemented EU agricultural and environmental policy. DWPA is first analysed as a public policy challenge to inform specification of a generic framework for its mitigation. The current policy frameworks for mitigation of DWPA in England and China are evaluated, and their potential for improvement is assessed. A number of barriers to lesson drawing for regulation, incentive payments schemes and advice provision are diagnosed. These barriers are potentially least in relation to advice provision and its use to promote voluntary action by farmers. Given its structure and capabilities the public agricultural extension system in China is also recognised as a key resource. A focus on three policy approaches to mitigate DWPA in China is recommended: i) targeted regulation to a ‘reference level’ of large intensive livestock, and ultimately other large commercial farms; ii) strategic use of incentive payment schemes to protect water resources from DWPA; and iii) re-orientation of the ethos and modalities of operation of the extension system, informed by international lesson drawing, with the aim of rebalancing farm productivity and environmental protection.

Land Use Policy, February 2017

Fri 16 December 2016, 14:40

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