Dissecting abiotic stress responses and tolerance mechanisms of the climate-resilient oilseed crop Camelina sativa

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Camelina (Camelina sativa) is an ancient European oilseed crop, which re-emerges as an alternative to rapeseed for bioenergy, food, and feed. Camelina is characterized as a low-input crop that can be grown on poor soils and marginal land, and it shows good inherent tolerances towards adverse environmental conditions. Thus, camelina has a great potential as a climate-smart crop as well as a source for discovery of tolerance mechanisms needed to cope with growing challenges in agriculture due to climate change.
To uncover its stress adaptation strategies, the UNTWIST project uses a systems approach to dissect camelina´s responses to heat and drought by evaluating 54 genetically diverse camelina lines in field trials and controlled stress environments. Genomics and metabolomics enabled the selection of four contrasting lines for characterisation in additional field trials and controlled large-scale stress experiments. A drought experiment in an automated phenotyping setup revealed the differential responses of the lines to stress at multiple levels. Integration of the results with complementary omics data (e.g., metabolome, transcriptome) is supporting the development of mechanistic models and identification of markers for the improvement of climate-smart crops.
Field crops are increasingly challenged also by salinity, e.g., through irrigation, and excess water due to extreme precipitation and poor soil drainage. To investigate the responses and tolerance of camelina to salinity and waterlogging, 8 lines from the UNTWIST core collection (cultivars and landraces) were analysed for physiological parameters, and morphological and agronomic traits under respective stress conditions. Camelina proved to be vulnerable to waterlogging, with some landraces showing better yield stability than cultivars. Similarly, these landraces showed better yield stability under salt stress, which could be related to a higher metabolic plasticity of these lines as evidenced by regulations in their central carbohydrate metabolism.
These results underpin that camelina, particularly landraces lacking a considerable breeding history, are a promising source for tolerance mechanisms to abiotic stresses. Furthermore, systems-based approaches deploying physiological analyses appear to be a powerful tool to harness camelina’s potential as a climate-smart crop.
Titelabstract book Crops for the future – breeding for resilience 2023. International Scientific Conference
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - 24 Okt. 2023
VeranstaltungCrops for the future – breeding for resilience 2023. International Scientific Conference - Ljubljana, Slowenien
Dauer: 24 Okt. 202325 Okt. 2023


KonferenzCrops for the future – breeding for resilience 2023. International Scientific Conference

Research Field

  • Exploration of Biological Resources

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