Submitted to: Onion World
Publication Type: Trade Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: April 23, 2009
Publication Date: May 1, 2009
Citation: Havey, M.J., Cheung, F., Cramer, C.S., Pappu, H., Schwartz, H.F. 2009. New Specialty Crop Funds Invested in Onion Genomics Project. Onion World. 25:21.
The 2008 Farm Bill provided funds for the USDA to establish the Specialty Crops Research Initiative to address challenges in the production and marketing of fruit, nut, vegetable, nursery, and ornamental crops. A group of prominent onion scientists joined together and proposed collaborative research among growers, extensionists, pathologists, and breeders to identify, validate, and deliver resistances to thrips and thrips-vectored Iris yellow spot virus, both identified by stakeholders as the most important threats to the sustainability of U.S. onion production. Recently, their 3-year project was funded at nearly one million dollars with matching funds provided by state-funded projects, commodity groups and seed companies. The project is entitled, “Ensuring U.S. Onion Sustainability: Breeding and Genomics to Control Thrips and Iris Yellow Spot Virus.” The cost benefits of these resistances will be estimated and communicated to growers. A high-density genetic map of onion will be constructed and used to tag resistances to these two prioritized pests, opening the door for marker-aided selection of onion by public and private onion breeders. Project outcomes will be presented to breeders, growers, horticulturalists, and students by new and expanded web-based resources (http://www.alliumnet.com/index.htm), articles in trade magazines, and workshops at regional and national grower meetings.