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Adaptive significance of functional germination traits in crop wild relatives of Brassica
E Castillo-Lorenzo, WE Finch-Savage, CE Seal, HW Pritchard
Functional germination traits contribute to both niche competitiveness and crop yield outcomes. However, there is little understanding of the adaptive significance of the germination thermal- and hydro-parameters in crop wild relatives, yet these species are anticipated to be the source of adaptive traits for future agriculture. Seeds of 10 seed lots of Brassica species, sub-species and inbred lines from across Europe, North Africa and the Middle East were subjected to a range of temperature and water potential conditions. Our results show that the selection of the crop B. oleracea for fastest germination under irrigated conditions likely limits the capacity of the current genepool to cope with erratic periods of drought predicted in future European climates.
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