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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: PHYSIOLOGICAL AND GENETIC BASIS OF POSTHARVEST QUALITY, DISEASE CONTROL, AND PHYTONUTRIENT CONTENT OF SELECTED FRUITS AND VEGETABLES
2010 Annual Report


1a.Objectives (from AD-416)
The overall objective of this project is to develop value-added products from fruits and vegetables, especially those containing phytonutrients. Anthocyanins and carotenoids are plant pigments that contribute to fruit quality and are also phytonutrients, and will be one objective of this project. Other objectives include selection and breeding of watermelon for enhanced lycopene content and modification of fruit quality for new market niches. Objective 1: Determine the impact(s) of pre-harvest production factors on quality, including phytonutrients, for selected fruits and vegetables. Objective 2: Develop techniques to reduce losses due to post-harvest disease in selected fruits and vegetables. Objective 3: Determine the impact(s) of post-harvest handling and storage factors on quality, including phytonutrients, for selected fruits and vegetables. Objective 4: Develop an analytical/screening technique/molecular markers for L-citrulline, glutathione, ornathine, and carotenoids in watermelon and other cucurbits. Objective 5: Determine the inheritance/sequence of the carotenoid genes in watermelon. Objective 6: Develop processes for economical extraction and purification of value-added components of selected fruits and vegetables.


1b.Approach (from AD-416)
Experiments to determine the physiology and develop technology necessary to extend the shelf life, marketability, and phytonutrient content of highly perishable fruits will be conducted. Enhancement of watermelon germplasm for market traits will be done using classical breeding techniques and exploration of the carotenoid path in watermelon will be done using molecular methodology. Food-grade formulations for extraction and stabilization of aqueous-based lycopene for extended shelf will be developed.


3.Progress Report
Due to a redirection in research focus, a new project is in development and is anticipated to be certified and ready for implementation in early FY11. There is no FY10 research progress to report.


5.Significant Activities that Support Special Target Populations
Scientists participated in extension tours, field days, and agricultural conferences where technology was transferred to primarily small-acreage growers. Scientists actively interacted with local, female, small-scale organic growers to help with marketing and production issues in fruit and vegetable production.


Review Publications
Bang, H., Davis, A.R., Kim, S., Leskovar, D.I., King, S.R. 2010. Flesh color inheritance and gene interactions among canary yellow, pale yellow and red watermelon. Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science. 135(4):362-368.

Tetteh, A.Y., Wehner, T.C., Davis, A.R. 2010. Identifying resistance to powdery mildew race 2W in the USDA-ARS watermelon germplasm collection. Crop Science. 50:933-939.

Vinson, E.L., Woods, F.M., Kemble, J.M., Perkins-Veazie, P.M., Davis, A.R., Kessler, J.R. 2010. Use of external indicators to predict maturity of mini-watermelon fruit. HortScience. 45(7):1034-1037.

Levi, A., Wechter, W.P., Harris-Shultz, K.R., Davis, A.R., Fie, Z. 2010. High-frequency Oligonucleotides in Watermelon Expressed Sequenced Tag-unigenes Are Useful in Producing Polymorphic Polymerase Chain Reaction Markers among Watermelon Genotypes. Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science. 135(4):369-378.

Last Modified: 8/21/2014
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