Nitrogen (N) is one of the most important macronutrients. Plants require a large amount of N to provide a typical vegetative growth. Nitrogen is a major part of essential compounds in plants such as amino acids (proteins), DNA and RNA, chlorophyll. The limited availability of nitrogen in the soil leads to negative impacts on plant metabolism and as a result on plant development (Epstein and Bloom, 2005). Insufficient supply of nitrogen could cause reduction in leaf area, plant content of chlorophyll and photosynthetic level consequently a decrease in biomass production and the oil and protein yield (Tegeder and Rentsch, 2010).
Oilseed Rape (OSR) acquires Nitrogen (N) from the soil but only half the N taken up is recovered within seeds at harvest. Thus, a significant quantity of N is returned to the soil via dead leaves and plant remains which can cause harmful environmental effects. An accurate description of N storage and mobilisation during the life cycle of OSR at the whole plant level could result in a better understanding of N redistribution and lead to improvements in Nitrogen Use Efficiency.
1) To achieve a better understanding of the mechanisms employed by the plant during Nitrogen metabolism, utilisation and remobilisation within OSR.
2) To investigate the genetic variation of different OSR genes involved in Nitrogen remobilisation.
3) To determine if Nitrogen utilisation in OSR can be improved through manipulation of the mechanisms identified.
Brassica napus TNDH Mapping Population growing in Glasshouse to study a number of traits related to nitrogen utilisation and remobilisation