Submitted to: American Society of Horticulture Science Meeting
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: April 1, 2003
Publication Date: August 20, 2003
Citation: Dhanaraj, A.L., Rowland, L.J., Slovin, J.P. 2003. Analysis of blueberry ests from cdna libraries of cold acclimated and non-acclimated flower buds. American Society Of Horticulture Science Meeting. 38:681.
Environmental stresses, including low temperature extremes, reduce crop yields and impact the profitability and competitiveness of U.S. producers. The U.S. is the world's leading blueberry producer, but the blueberry industry suffers from a lack of winter hardy and spring-frost resistant cultivars. Our laboratory has been studying genetic and molecular aspects of cold hardiness in blueberry in order to identify markers/genes associated with this trait. Marker-assisted selection or transgenic approaches based on such markers or genes can be used to develop cold hardy cultivars that can be grown in a wider geographical range. Currently, we have undertaken a genomics project involving partial sequencing of cDNA clones from cold acclimated and non-acclimated flower buds to identify and compare genes expressed under both conditions. So far, about 600 cDNA clones from each of these libraries have been sequenced from the 5' ends and most of the clones have been putatively identified based on their similarity to sequences in Genbank. Assembly of individual ESTs into clusters of sequences representing unique transcripts has been performed using contig assembly software. Contigs representing ESTs with putative protein identities are being classified into ~12 functional groups and the percentages of clones that fall into each category determined for each library. About 200 of the clones from the cold acclimated flower bud library have been sequenced from the 3' ends as well as the 5' ends and PCR primers developed based on their 5' and 3' sequences. Primer pairs have been used to develop EST-PCR markers that are useful for DNA fingerprinting and mapping in blueberry.