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Crop Science Abstract - Crop Wild Relatives Special Section

Accelerating Silphium Domestication: An Opportunity to Develop New Crop Ideotypes and Breeding Strategies Informed by Multiple Disciplines


This article in CS

  1. Vol. 57 No. 3, p. 1274-1284
    unlockOPEN ACCESS
    Received: Oct 01, 2016
    Accepted: Mar 16, 2017
    Published: June 16, 2017

    * Corresponding author(s): dlvantassel@gmail.com
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  1. David L. Van Tassel *a,
  2. Kenneth A. Albrechtb,
  3. James D. Bevern,
  4. Arvid A. Boec,
  5. Yaniv Brandvaind,
  6. Timothy E. Crewsa,
  7. Markus Gansbergere,
  8. Pedro Gerstbergerf,
  9. Luciana González-Paleog,
  10. Brent S. Hulkeh,
  11. Nolan C. Kanei,
  12. Paul J. Johnsonj,
  13. Elena G. Pestsovam,
  14. Valentín D. Picasso Rissob,
  15. Jarrad R. Prasifkah,
  16. Damian A. Ravettag,
  17. Brandon Schlautmana,
  18. Craig C. Sheafferk,
  19. Kevin P. Smithk,
  20. Pablo R. Speranzal,
  21. M. Kathryn Turnera,
  22. Alejandra E. Vilelag,
  23. Philipp von Gehrene and
  24. Christian Weverm
  1. a The Land Institute 2440 E Water Well Rd., Salina, KS 67448
    b Dep. of Agronomy, Univ. of Wisconsin-Madison, 1575 Linden Dr., Madison, WI
    n Univ. of Kansas, 1200 Sunnyside Ave., Lawrence, KS 66045
    c Plant Science, South Dakota State Univ., Box 2140C, Brookings, SD 57007
    d Dep. of Plant Biology, Univ. of Minnesota 232 Cargill Building 1500 Gortner Ave., St. Paul, MN 55108
    e Austrian Agency for Health and Food Safety (AGES) Spargelfeldstraße 191 1220, Wien, Austria
    f Dep. of Plant Ecology, Univ. of Bayreuth, Post Box 10 12 51, D-95448 Bayreuth, Germany
    g National Scientific and Technical Research Council (MEF-CONICET), Fontana 140, Trelew, Chubut, Argentina
    h Northern Crop Science Laboratory, USDA-ARS 1307 18th St. N. Fargo, ND 58102
    i Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Univ. of Colorado, 1900 Pleasant St. 334, UCB Boulder, CO 80309-0334
    j Insect Biodiversity Laboratory Box 2207A, Brookings, SD 57007
    m Institute of Developmental and Molecular Biology of Plants, Heinrich-Heine-Univ. Universitaetstr. 1, Geb. 26.03.02 40225 Düsseldorf, Germany
    k Dep. of Agronomy and Plant Genetics, Univ. of Minnesota, 411 Borlaug Hall 1991 Upper Buford Circle, St. Paul, MN55108
    l Faculty of Agronomy, Univ. of the Republic, Garzón 780, 12900, Montevideo, Uruguay


Silphium perfoliatum L. (cup plant, silphie) and S. integrifolium Michx. (rosinweed, silflower) are in the same subfamily and tribe as sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.). Silphium perfoliatum has been grown in many countries as a forage or bioenergy crop with forage quality approaching that of alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) and biomass yield close to maize (Zea mays L.) in some environments. Silphium integrifolium has large seeds with taste and oil quality similar to traditional oilseed sunflower. Silphium species are all long-lived, diploid perennials. Crops from this genus could improve the yield stability, soil, and biodiversity of agricultural landscapes because, in their wild state, they are deep rooted and support a wide diversity of pollinators. In contrast with premodern domestication, de novo domestication should be intentional and scientific. We have the luxury and obligation at this moment in history to expand the domestication ideotype from food and energy production to include (i) crop-driven ecosystem services important for sustainability, (ii) genetic diversity to enable breeding progress for centuries, (iii) natural adaptations and microbiome associations conferring resource use efficiency and stress tolerance, and (iv) improving domestication theory itself by monitoring genetic and ecophysiological changes from predomestication baselines. Achieving these goals rapidly will require the use of next-generation sequencing for marker development and an international, interdisciplinary team committed to collaboration and strategic planning.

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