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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


Location: Vegetable Crops Research

2009 Annual Report

1a. Objectives (from AD-416)
We will expand close working relationships among breeders, extensionists, and growers of major Alliums in the U.S. to evaluate germplasms for prioritized pest resistances (thrips and Iris Yellow Spot Virus) and lay the foundation for the long-term translational genomics of the Allium vegetables. Workshops will be held at regional onion meetings. We will evaluate in the field onion populations for resistance or tolerance to thrips and Iris Yellow Spot Virus. Resistance or tolerant germplasms will be released to the onion breeders in the public and private sectors.

1b. Approach (from AD-416)
Work with extension professionals to empower growers to complete on-farm evaluations for resistances or tolerances to thrips and Iris Yellow Spot Virus. Self-pollinate and testcross selected plants and return seed for validation of phenotypes; Deliver validated germplasms to private and public sector breeders; Develop workshops for public and private-sector researchers, students, and regional grower and consumer groups for onion to illustrate the usefulness of genomics to solve high-priority research goals.

3. Progress Report
More than 130 onion cultivars (from commercial companies) and germplasm entries (from the USDA Plant Introduction Station in Geneva, NY) are being evaluated in small field plots for responses to seasonal thrips populations and subsequent infection by Iris yellow spot virus (IYSV) in Colorado and New Mexico. Agronomic information (leaf color, axil pattern, maturity, bulb size) and thrips (adults and larvae) counts will be taken on plants at 3 stages of vegetative or reproductive development, and compared to incidence (% of plants infected) and severity (scale of 0 to 4) of IYSV. Individual plants or populations with putative resistance to IYSV and/or thrips will be marked for separate harvest and bulbs sent to Principal Investigator for replanting and pollination (assuming there is no sterility problem). Project is monitored by conference calls every two months.

4. Accomplishments

Last Modified: 05/28/2017
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