EU Genres 088
EU Genres 088 Project Plan
The GENRES 088 program, financed by the European Union, aims to constitute a European network (Germany, Spain, France, Greece,Italy, Netherlands, Portugal) for the conservation, evaluation and the use of the population varieties of maïze, cultivated in the past. The professional environment is associated with this project with the participation of the ProMaïs association gathering the whole of the maïze breeders.
The first objective is to establish an exhaustive inventory of these genetic resources held by each country, to describe them using ecogeographic passportdata and to characterize them using primary agromorphologic descriptors. The unit will constitute a European database on the maïze populations (EUMLDB) accessible to the public.
A second series of agromorphological characterization makes it possible for each country to define a representative national collection of its own population (RMNC). The whole population of these national collections will be characterized using RFLP markers in order to define the European representative collection of population of maïze (EMCC). This « core-collection » will be used firstly basic as exchange and will be the subject of a regular regeneration in order to be available.
Finally this European collection will be evaluated for a certain number of criteria specific to the Agricultural Community Policy for the installation of a durable agriculture: aptitudes of tolerance for the biotic factors (Sésamie) and abiotic (dryness), diversification of the uses and identification of qualitative natures (digestibility of the plant, content of oil, proteins and starch of the grain).
Réseau Européen Population de maïs RES GEN 88
Le programme RES GEN 088 soutenu financièrement par l’Union Européenne a pour objectif de constituer un réseau européen (Allemagne, Espagne, France, Grèce, Italie, Pays-Bas, Portugal) pour la conservation, l’évaluation et l’utilisation des variétés populations de maïs anciennement cultivées. Le milieu professionnel est associé à ce projet avec la participation de l’association ProMaïs regroupant l’ensemble des sélectionneurs de maïs.
L’objectif premier est d’établir un inventaire exhaustif de ces ressources génétiques détenues par chacun des pays, de les décrire à l’aide de données écogéographiques de passeport et de les caractériser à l’aide de descripteurs agromorphologiques primaires. L’ensemble constituera une base de données européennes sur les populations de maïs (EUMLDB) accessible à tout public.
Une seconde série de caractères agromorphologiques permettra à chaque pays de définir une collection nationale représentative de ses propres populations (RMNC). L’ensemble des populations de ces collections nationales sera caractérisé par des marqueurs RFLP afin de définir la collection européenne représentative des populations de maïs (EMCC). Cette « core-collection » servira prioritairement de base d’échange et fera l’objet d’une régénération régulière afin d’être disponible.
Enfin cette collection européenne sera évaluée pour un certain nombre de critères propres à la Politique Agricole Communautaire pour la mise en place d’une agriculture durable : aptitudes de tolérance aux facteurs biotiques (Sésamie) et abiotiques (sécheresse), diversification des usages et identification de caractères qualitatifs (digestibilité de la plante, teneur en huile, protéines et amidon du grain).
- Constitution of the European network and general survey of maize landraces genetic resources for a rational management.
- Elaboration of a maize database for European accessions with passport data and primary descriptors used by IPGRI and FAO, in concertation with ECP/GR network ; first identification of duplicates.
- Secondary characterisation of the chosen accessions by the use of agromorphological and molecular descriptors.
- Sorting and creation of a restricted collection by the use of agromorphological descriptors and then of a core collection by the use of molecular descriptors.
- Final evaluation of the European core collection according to the Common Agricultural Policy criteria ; constitution of the network for the conservation of the landraces.
- Diffusion of the main results into national and international publications and journals, accessibility and diffusion of the genetic material after regeneration.
Background (General Objectives)
Since the introduction of maize in Europe five centuries ago, great differentiation occurred in maize landraces according to environments and needs of farmers. Adaptation of landraces to many niches of European countries for many years explains the large variability which can be observed today (Brandolini 1969). Most of them have a flint kernel which is a typical character of European maize landraces. Today, highly productive hybrids have replaced landraces and are obtained by crossing inbred lines chosen in complementary heterotic groups. For Northern and Central Europe, the most commonly groups are European flint x American dent. During the fifties, the first European inbred lines were derived from European landraces by selection. They bring specifically early vigor and cold tolerance to hybrid combinaison with dent material. Lacaune landrace has been at the origine of the inbred lines F2 and F7 very largely used in the hybrids adaptated to the climatic conditions of North Europe. Thus, European landraces could be a source of variability for the objectives of diversification and preservation of environment : source of pest tolerance (European corn borer, virus), drought tolerance, cold tolerance, grain quality (human use, poultry breeding).
Today, native landraces are no longer cultivated except in the highland of North West Spain. Many landraces were collected by national research organisations of different European Union and East European countries during past years. Although a recent meeting took place in order to explore the availability of Eastern and Western European countries to cooperate in a common database of maize germplasm, no coordination exists for the conservation of the maize genetic variability. Seven countries : France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Portugal, Spain, The Netherlands decided to elaborate a common programme to conserve, evaluate and use their maize landraces genetic resources.
The objectives of the project are:
- to organise a transnational European network for the conservation of maize landraces according to a common protocol
- to optimise the utilisation of genetic resources by evaluating a collection which contains, with a minimum of repetitiveness, the maximum possible genetic variability of European maize landraces (core collection)
- to evaluate the core collection for criteria required by the objectives of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP).
Since main factors in the structure of genetic variability among maize landraces are earliness, geographic origin and morphologic traits, a first sorting of maize landraces collections will be done by each partner. Maize curators will update maize European database according to a common database, and will define a collection with limited redundancy based on data previously recorded and on own knowledge of populations. Following that the European maize landraces core-collection will be constituted by analysing the genetic structure of all aggregated populations based on molecular polymorphism. Compared with genetic variability of morphological traits, molecular polymorphism is independent of environment. Moreover the molecular polymorphism (RFLP) of inbred lines reveals a genetic diversity structure in agreement with the origin and heterotic groups from which the lines were derived (Melchinger et al. 1990 ; Livini et al. 1992 ; Burstin et al. 1994). Validation of the use of RFLP for populations structuration has been made recently (Dubreuil et Charcosset, 1996). This core collection will be characterised for the adaptive traits which are in agreement with the CAP fulfilment and can be considered as a prebreeding step for the use of maize genetic resources.
As redundancy in genetic diversity will be limited, the global cost of conservation of maize landraces in Europe will be reduced. Moreover, the core collection by its characterisation and its representativeness will improve the use of the maize genetic resources held in the total collection. Breeders will have a rapid access to genetic variation of a desirable trait for sustainable agriculture and industrial uses. It would be interesting that information obtained on evaluated landraces further to seeds requests, came back to enrich the European maize database. People requesting accessions will be systematically answered after landraces supply. This knowledge on maize landraces will be open to non governmental organisations (NGO) and associations by the way of a widely diffused European maize Index seminum ; a description of the maize database on Internet and an accessibility on CD-ROM. It might be expected that some non identified landraces could be found and added to the collection following this information.
East European countries have collections with high number of maize landraces because of their cultivation until recent date and a strong concern for conservation of genetic resources. This germplasm have been well maintained until last years. Present situation is such that conservation of this material is not nowadays a high priority in these countries, and this germplasm might be lost. The estimated number of these landraces is high, between 2000 and 4000 accessions, that is to say equal or higher than those of Western European countries. An inventory of all the European maize genetic resources is planned with the help of ECP/GR. Partners of the present project are included in this action and a collaboration will be established by the way of satellite meetings with ECP/GR programme.
- Rationalisation of the conservation of genetic resources at an European level.
- Getting an exhaustive and reliable information for all the passport data and primary descriptors.
- Getting knowledge on the genetic structuration among maize European landraces that will help breeders to use their variability.
- Obtention of a core collection constituted by a limited number of accessions representative of the variability of the maize populations.
- Obtention of the first coordinated collect of information on an European maize core collection for criteria required by the Common Agricultural Policy.
- Informations concerning European maize database (EMDB) and European maize core collection (EMCC) can be used for prebreeding and scientific research programmes for maize improvement, at the benefit of the European Union.
|Country 1||Country 2||Country 3||Country …||Nature of work|
|Lx||Ly||Lz||L…||Step 2 (1997) : Creation of the common data base|
Li = number of native Landraces
|Lx||Ly||Lz||L…||Step3 (1998) : Morphological characterisation|
|lx||ly||lz||l…||Step4 (1998/1999) : Constitution of national restricted collections|
|Step 4 (1999) : Assembling restricted collections|
|lx+ly+lz+l…||Step3 (1999) : Molecular characterisation|
|EUMLCC||Step4 (2000) : Constitution of European Core-Collection|
|Step 5 (2001): Evaluation of European Core-Collection according to the Common Agricultural Policy criteria|
- A good coordination between the curators in charge of the different national collections of European maize genetic resources, for an efficient network.
- An efficient database easily available for European curators with all the accessions characterised for passport data and primary descriptors, duplicates are identified.
- All the accessions are characterised for secondary descriptors, a significant percentage of them are characterised for molecular descriptors.
- National restricted collections are defined from secondary agromorphological descriptors ; European core collection is defined from the national restricted collections.
- Accessions constituting the European core collection are evaluated for some criteria required for a sustainable agriculture and diversified maize industry.
- Potential users (breeders, scientists) are informed via publications, journals of the availability of the information and means to access to maize genetic resources ; these resources have been regenerated.
Diffusion of results
The diffusion of the results will be done by several ways :
- by Internet with a description of the project and the database (number of landraces, descriptors and available data, locations to address seed request, …).
- by the edition in an Index seminum and a CD ROM of the following information :
- information on passport data, primary descriptors for all European maize landraces (total collection) ;
- information on adaptative, agronomical and usage value for sustainable and diversified maize industry, for a limited but representative part of the population genetic variability (core collection).
This base is coordinated with ECP/GR maize database and will be accessible to breeders, to the scientific community and more generally to any NGO dealing with plant genetic resources.
- by the publications written by the different partners concerning the structuration of the variability of their national populations with agromorphological and molecular descriptors, the constitution of representative collection (core collection), and the interest of the maize landraces for tomorrow & agriculture.
- by the availability for anybody of the European maize landraces, and more specially to the landraces which are representative to the total collection and which are described for sustainable and diversified agriculture criterion, according to the international rules for genetic resources exchanges.
The project is supported by the European Commission under the Genetic Resources in Agriculture Programme. The contents of these pages is the sole responsability of its publisher(s). These pages in no way represent the views of the Commission or its services.
They have been achieved in collaboration with « Th.J.L. van Hintum » and Herman Nijland. Last update 6/04/2000 by Régine Aliaga. Comments and questions to: Jacques Dallard.