Project Number: 2094-43000-007-20-T
Project Type: Trust Fund Cooperative Agreement
Start Date: Jul 1, 2017
End Date: Dec 31, 2019
1) Identify gene activity using RNA Seq that is correlated with fruit quality and maturity as it relates to on-tree fruit position, 2) Discover genes in ‘D’Anjou’ pear for comparative genomics with ‘Bartlett’ pear, 3) Generate a list of potential biomarkers for use in research and fruit production.
The Washington Tree Fruit Research Commission (WTFRC) project “Improving Quality and Maturity Consistency of ‘D’Anjou” has yielded insights into differential maturity and quality of fruit as it relates to on-tree fruit position. Fruit tissue that was collected for this funded project continues to be available and we propose to use these samples to explore the activity of all genes in selected samples by RNA Seq. Based on the initial (untargeted, i.e. all genes) digital gene expression survey we will use targeted approaches (qPCR to target specific genes) to explore gene expression in a wider range of samples. In the second year we will identify trees/fruit of interest for addition targeted and untargeted gene expression to test hypotheses generated in the first year and further explore on-tree patterns of differential fruit maturity and quality. The ARS scientist has expertise in this type of work and has already developed and tested protocols for reliably extracting RNA (input for RNA Seq, qPCR) from the frozen stored tissues collected for this project.