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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


Location: Vegetable Crops Research

2012 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:
Commercial cultivars and plant introductions of onion were grown in Colorado for evaluation of thrips pressure and symptoms of Iris Yellow Spot Virus (IYSV) using natural inoculum. During 2012, the following germplasm demonstrated significantly greater plant vigor after season-long exposure to thrips and IYSV: selections from Plant Introduction (PI) lines 258956, 288909, 343049, and 546188, commercial cultivars ‘Mesquite’ and ‘Crookham 05-05,’ and B5336C (a USDA experimental inbred from PI’s breeding program). Outcomes of this work have been posted on web sites and presented at various meetings for use by the Colorado and national onion industries, growers, seed company breeders and pathologists, and integrated pest management specialists to select more effective management strategies including the promotion of varieties that are less susceptible to damage by thrips and the virus. Growing less susceptible varieties of onions and reducing virus and thrips pressure in Colorado could increase yields by a conservative estimate of 10 percent, valued at 5 million dollars annually. Outreach activities included annual meeting and field day presentations to onion growers, processors, seed company representatives and crop consultants in Colorado. Progress reports are posted on the project web site: This research relates to Objective 1, Determine the genetic basis of and initiate selection for carrot, onion, cucumber, and melon quality attributes influencing human nutrition and health, disease resistances, and yield and quality components, and stress tolerance in cucurbits, and perform field performance and quality trials; Objective 2, Utilize current biotechnology to discover and evaluate genetic variation and to map agriculturally important traits in Allium, Cucurbit, and Daucus germplasm, and to develop genetic and breeding stocks.

4. Accomplishments

Last Modified: 10/16/2017
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