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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: MANAGEMENT OF TEMPERATE FRUIT NUT AND SPECIALTY CROP GENETIC RESOURCES

Location: National Clonal Germplasm Repository (Corvallis, Oregon)

Title: Paternity testing and delivering trait-predictive genotypic data

Authors
item Bassil, Nahla
item Gilmore, Barbara
item Peace, Cameron -
item Nyberg, April
item Rosato, Caprice -

Submitted to: Genetics and Genomics of Rosaceae
Publication Type: Other
Publication Acceptance Date: February 9, 2010
Publication Date: February 28, 2011
Citation: Bassil, N.V., Gilmore, B.S., Peace, C., Nyberg, A.M., Rosato, C. 2011. Paternity testing and delivering trait-predictive genotypic data. Genetics and Genomics of Rosaceae. 2(1)5-6.

Interpretive Summary: RosBREED is a multi-institutional and multi-disciplinary project that was funded by the 2009 USDA NIFA Specialty Crops Research Initiative. Its objectives are to analyze DNA through similar techniques to that now applied in humans, and rapidly develop improved varieties of apple, peach, cherry and strawberry. These DNA techniques will make it easier and faster for researchers to develop new types of these fruits. The founders or parents of these fruit trees as well as important varieties were selected in each of these crops. In 2010, breeders sent leaves of each chosen tree for DNA extraction. Over the past few months, these apple, peach, and cherry DNAs were screened with promising trait-predictive DNA fragments referred to as markers. These markers for high priority fruit quality traits were available but had not yet been validated or implemented in fruit breeding programs. The first demonstrations of the speed of this analysis for choosing better parents for traditional breeding will be conducted in 2011. In the meantime huge research efforts in other project areas are expected to provide many further diagnostic tools for fruit quality. Future Newsletters will document advances in breeding efficiency using this DNA data. RosBREED breeders are anxious to apply predictive markers in their programs, starting with changing their crossing decisions by using this new knowledge from the DNA analysis. This knowledge is predicted to produce fruit with superior flavor, texture, and size. The breeders are also interested in pedigree records which may be shown to be incorrect. Did these mistakes result from stray pollen? Was there an error in labeling or record-keeping? Such knowledge will allow breeders to confirm their records. RosBREED’s chosen reference plant sets will be modified for maximized statistical power. Paternity testing is another example of the usefulness of the new DNA-based markers.

Technical Abstract: In the RosBREED project, the Genotyping Team (Team Leader: Nahla Bassil) leads the effort to obtain DNA data needed to enable marker-assisted breeding for critical fruit quality traits. These data are obtained from reference genotypes of apple, peach, cherry and strawberry carefully chosen to represent important breeding parents. In 2010, breeders sent leaves of each chosen tree to the Genotyping Team for subsequent DNA extraction. This effort has resulted in a repository of DNAs needed for genotyping during the RosBREED project. Over the past few months, these apple, peach, and cherry DNAs were screened with promising trait-predictive DNA markers. These markers for high priority fruit quality traits were available yet not fully validated nor widely implemented in fruit breeding programs. The first demonstrations of marker-assisted breeding as facilitated by RosBREED will be conducted with these promising markers in 2011 (while in the meantime huge research efforts in other project areas are expected to provide many further diagnostic tools for fruit quality). Future Newsletters will document advances in breeding efficiency using this marker data. The genotypic data was delivered to the Pedigree-Based Analysis Team of the RosBREED project to soon validate and assess utility of these markers in specific breeding programs. A very excited group of RosBREED breeders are anxious to apply predictive markers in their programs, starting with refining their crossing decisions by using such knowledge as which of their potential breeding parents are predicted to produce fruit with superior flavor, texture, and size. Also of interest to breeders, early perusal of the DNA data revealed that some pedigree records are incorrect. Did an individual result from stray pollen? Was there an error in labeling or record-keeping? Such knowledge allows breeders to confirm or reassess their records, and a chance to refine RosBREED’s reference genotype sets for maximized statistical power. This paternity testing is another example of how accessibility to the new tool of DNA-based markers can provide breeders with valuable biological insights.

Last Modified: 8/30/2014
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