Fabio Fiorani:
Analysis and exploitation of phenotypic diversity in Chilean quinoa germplasm (Invited Talk)


Fabio Fiorani received the B.S. degree in agricultural sciences from the University of Milan, Italy, and the Ph.D. degree in plant ecophysiology from the University of Utrecht, The Netherlands. He held post-doctoral positions with Duke University, NC, USA, and the Flemish Institute of Biotechnology, Plant Systems Biology, Ghent, Belgium, from 2001 to 2007. From 2007 to 2010, he was a Senior Scientist with Crop Design, Ghent, Belgium. Since 2010, he leads a multi-disciplinary group with the Institute of Plant Sciences, Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH, Jülich, Germany, focusing on screening methods for quantifying plant growth dynamics and plant tissue composition nondestructively.

Presentation Abstract

Chenopodium quinoa (Willd.) is a species that originated from the Andean region and produces grains with very good nutritional quality. It shows adaptation to several growth-limiting environmental conditions such as low water availability, high temperature, and relatively high salt concentrations. The phenotypic and genetic diversity of this species remains largely unexplored. During a project funded by the German Ministry of Research (Quinoa Diversity) we analyzed a collection of about 100 day neutral Chilean coastal-lowland accessions, which have a good potential to be employed in the future at latitudes and environmental conditions of continental Europe. We characterized phenotypically these accessions in greenhouse experiments and measured saponins metabolites, which are important in view of the utilization of the grains, as well as phenolic compounds. We found considerable variation in both saponins metabolites and phenolic compounds content, which gives promising perspectives for further pre-breeding steps. Furthermore, we conducted a field experiment in the Southern Atacama desert in Chile with selected quinoa accessions to measure yield and phenotypic leaf responses to reduced irrigation using RGB, spectral and thermal imaging. We concluded that, in some cases, specific spectral indices values were associated with tolerance to reduced water availability. These results are at the basis of ongoing genetic sequencing analyses to identify candidate genomic regions and develop markers to be utilized in future selection processes.

Co-authors: Archis Pandya1, Nathalie Wuyts1, Kathryn Dumschott2, Cristian Alfaro3, Dalma Castillo3, Björn Usadel2, Andrés Zurita-Silva3

Presenter: Fabio Fiorani1

1Institute of Bio- and Geosciences: Plant Sciences (IBG-2),   Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH, 52425 Jülich, Germany

2Institute of Bio-sciences and Geosciences: Bioinformatics (IBG-4), Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH,52425 Jülich, Germany

3Instituto de Investigaciones Agropecuarias, Centro de Investigación Intihuasi (AZS), La Serena, Centro de Investigación Rayentué (CA), Rengo, and Centro de Investigación Quilamapu (DC) , Chillán , Chile