Submitted to: International Society for Horticultural Science Meeting
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: March 5, 2002
Publication Date: August 11, 2002
Citation: Rowland, L.J., Mehra, S., Ogden, E.L. 2002. Identification of molecular markers associated with cold tolerance in blueberry. International Society for Horticultural Science Meeting. Technical Abstract: According to blueberry scientists in the U.S., lack of cold hardiness is a major problem of cultivars and development of more cold hardy cultivars is an important need to the blueberry industry. We are using two distinct but related approaches to identify molecular markers associated with cold tolerance in blueberry. One approach is to map QTLs controlling cold hardiness. Progress toward mapping QTLs will be presented including: (1) construction of initial genetic linkage maps for two diploid blueberry populations segregating for cold hardiness; (2) use of RAPD and EST markers for mapping purposes; (3) evaluation of the mapping populations for cold hardiness; and (4) genetic analyses of the cold hardiness data. The other approach is to isolate cold-responsive genes from blueberry and to map these genes to determine if any map to OTLs that control cold hardiness. Levels of a group of dehydrin proteins (proteins induced by dehydration stress such as freezing and drought) increase during cold acclimation such that they become the most abundant proteins in blueberry floral buds during the winter. Progress using a systematic molecular genetic approach will be presented including: 1) characterization of expression of the dehydrins, 2) cloning members of the dehydrin gene family, 3) mapping members of the dehydrin gene family, and 4) segregation of the dehydrin genes with the cold hardiness trait. Finally, preliminary results using a genomic approach to characterize cold-responsive genes will be presented.