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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Madison, Wisconsin » Vegetable Crops Research » Research » Research Project #431851

Research Project: Identifying Phenotypes, Markers, and Genes in Carrot Germplasm to Deliver Improved Carrots to Growers and Consumers

Location: Vegetable Crops Research

Project Number: 5090-21000-069-15-I
Project Type: Interagency Reimbursable Agreement

Start Date: Sep 1, 2016
End Date: Aug 31, 2020

Objective:
1. To discover and characterize previously unknown genes in the broad range of diverse genetic stocks and germplasm to improve carrot disease and pest resistance; to better tolerate environmental stress such as heat and drought; to increase carrot productivity, processing and postharvest quality and yield; and to improve carrot flavor and nutritional value. 2. To develop genomic tools and expand the database for breeders to track the genes underlying important traits so that the understanding of the genomics of carrot can be applied to practical breeding programs; and to make this information and these tools readily available. 3. To initiate the development of germplasm and breeding stocks with new and/or improved production, processing, and consumer quality traits. 4. To perform research on carrot nutrient bioavailability and stability. 5. To inform carrot stakeholders and seek their feedback regarding research results and germplasm resulting from this project. 6. To train students and educate the public about carrots, agriculture, and food.

Approach:
a) Grow and evaluate recombinant inbred lines (RILs) and segregating populations, phenotype (using methods we have established), apply genotyping protocols we already use to map quantitative trait loci (QTLs), identify candidate genes, and initiate selection. b) Grow and evaluate germplasm accessions, phenotype (using methods we have established), apply genotyping protocols we use to map quantitative trait loci (QTLs), identify candidate genes, and initiate selection. c) Grow carrot germplasm in cooperating growers’ fields, evaluate traits, and gather grower comments/feedback on the lines for selection of desired traits. d) Evaluate carrot flavor (harshness, sweetness, texture) and appearance in trained consumer panels using methods we have established. e) Evaluate high and low carotenoid and/or anthocyanin bioavailability in carrot lines using humans and gerbils with methods we have established. f) Evaluate optimal economic investment in a research model for traits evaluated.