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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Madison, Wisconsin » Vegetable Crops Research » Research » Research Project #434094

Research Project: Managing the Most Significant Biotic Challenges for Organic Onion Production Across the Great Lakes Region

Location: Vegetable Crops Research

Project Number: 5090-21000-069-40-A
Project Type: Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Jan 1, 2018
End Date: Jul 31, 2020

Objective:
Develop and release new early-maturing, multiple-pest-resistant onion cultivars for organic growers.

Approach:
Marker-aided selection will be used to identify families resistant to both pink root and Fusarium basal rot, as well as possess semi-glossy foliage (due to lower amounts of the cuticular wax H16) associated with resistance to onion thrips. Gas chromatography mass spectrometry (GCMS) will be used to measure amounts of cuticular waxes on segregating families, selecting families with higher amounts of waxes other than H16. Selected families will be grown in replicated field plots in organic fields. Thrips numbers and damage will be assessed, as well as bulb yields, sizes, and storage ability over the winter. Plants from the early maturing families with good bulb production and storage will be intercrossed and seed will be separately harvested off of each plant to produce half-sib (HS) families. These HS families will be evaluated for maturity in replicated trials in organic fields, and bulbs from the best performing families will be harvested and intercrossed to produce early-maturing, yellow-bulb, well storing, and multiple pest-resistant populations to be released to growers and seed companies.