Identifying molecular markers for future breeding of novel oil crop Lepidium campestre

Last changed: 22 May 2023
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Noomi Lodenius, Plant Biology for Sustainable Production - Master's programme


The cold hardy novel oil- and cover crop Lepidium campestre is currently being domesticated as a potential oil crop for the Nordic climate. To achieve this objective, multiple traits have previously been identified as desirable to improve, including seed oil content and composition, and glucosinolate (GL) content. In line with this, major genes involved in the biosynthetic and degradation pathways of seed oil and glucosinolate were evaluated in 40 accessions of Lepidium with the aim of finding a significant association with total oil content, oleic acid (OA) and erucic acid (EA) contents as well as total GL content, Sinalbin (Sb) and glucoallysin (Gl) contents. In total, 113 markers were identified. Among these markers, 13 markers significantly associated with oil content, eight significantly associated with oil composition (OA and EA), and six significantly associated with GL content were identified as especially interesting. In addition, relatives of L. campestre were evaluated for morphology, seed oil content, oil composition and glucosinolate content. Their phylogenetic relationship with L. campestre was also evaluated for use as potential candidates for interspecific hybridization. In this analysis two species with beneficial OA-content were suggested for future crosses, L. hirtum subsp. calycotrichum and L. heterohyllum. An additional four species with beneficial oil-, OA-, EA- and GL-content were identified as interesting targets for future embryo rescue protocol adaptation, necessary to overcome breeding barriers. These include L. graminifolium, L. sativum, L. virginicum subsp. menziesii and L. perfoliatum.


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