WP Title: Application of the Crocus germplasm information and banked accessions

Lead Partner: 9

Participating Partners: 0, 1, 3 and 9

Objectives: To initiate exploitation of accessions of Crocus and morphological, agronomic and marker data -


Descriptions of work:

-Identification of accessions of Saffron within the collection that are genetically identical. Duplicates within germplasm collections are costly to curate, but it is undesirable to discard unique accessions. Some molecular markers from WP04 will show the frequency of duplicates within the collection, allowing them to be discarded. Passport data combined with duplicate frequency will estimate how representative the collection is of the complete range of Saffron.

-Quantification of diversity in Saffron and Crocus. It is essential to measure levels of biodiversity of plants throughout Europe . We will measure the level of molecular diversity of the Crocus species in the collection, and compare this with other wild plants. The results will also allow us to recommend optimal in situ conservation strategies to complement the germplasm bank.

-Genomics in Saffron. The origin of saffron from wild Crocus species is not fully proven, and we will check that the molecular markers are consistent with published suggestions. We will also investigate the structure of genes which are conserved across all plant species, and define how the Crocus/Saffron genome is related to other species.

-Identification of germplasm for exploitation by breeders and growers. Based on the morphological markers, agronomic characters, cytogenetics and molecular studies, we will identify accessions and species which are suggested for consideration for commercial exploitation and making of hybrids .