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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Salinas, California » Crop Improvement and Protection Research » Research » Research Project #426665

Research Project: Lettuce Breeding and Genetics

Location: Crop Improvement and Protection Research

Project Number: 2038-21530-002-02-T
Project Type: Trust Fund Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Apr 1, 2014
End Date: Mar 31, 2019

Our objectives are to develop landmark cultivars, advanced breeding lines, information, and tools for use by other breeders, scientists, producers and growers. Problems facing the lettuce industry will be addressed using genetic approaches that are suited to coastal, desert, and interior valley locations, to the various types of lettuce, and to the demands of different production and marketing approaches.

The lettuce industry of California requires continued development of improved, adapted cultivars to meet new disease and insect problems, changes in the market, and changes in growing procedures. The lettuce breeding and genetics project aims to incorporate valuable traits into crisphead, mixed lettuce, and spring mix cultivars and breeding lines that are adapted to coastal California and low desert production conditions. In parallel, we develop information and tools to increase the utility of our germplasm. In 2014, we will emphasize developing resistance to Verticillium wilt, lettuce drop, Fusarium wilt, big vein, dieback, corky root, downy mildew, bacterial leaf spot, leafminer, lettuce aphid, tipburn, extending shelf-life, reducing wound induced browning, combining multiple resistances, and development of molecular markers for marker-assisted selection. Minor programs will address resistance to Tospoviruses and bolting. In all programs, horticultural traits, adaptation, and resistance to tipburn are considered essential.