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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Salinas, California » Crop Improvement and Protection Research » Research » Research Project #441280

Research Project: Enhancing Resource Utilization for Sustainable Lettuce Production in Changing Climates

Location: Crop Improvement and Protection Research

Project Number: 2038-21530-002-036-R
Project Type: Reimbursable Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Oct 1, 2021
End Date: Aug 31, 2022

Objective:
1) Determine the genetic basis of tolerance to abiotic stresses, such as heat, drought, cold, and salinity. 2) Exploit information on gene function in model plant species, especially Arabidopsis, to identify genes that can be used for enhancing resource allocation and abiotic stress tolerance in lettuce. 3) Develop and apply methods for identifying and manipulating genes in lettuce, particularly next-generation sequencing, marker-assisted selection (MAS), genome editing, and remote sensing to discover and introgress genes from wild, un-adapted germplasm.

Approach:
Conduct a highly integrated collaborative project with genetic studies to identify chromosomal regions associated with important abiotic stress tolerance traits. We will identify quantitative trait loci (QTLs) and integrate such data into meta-analyses of crop performance, perform high resolution genetic analysis of major QTLs to provide molecular markers and identify candidate genes underlying selected QTLs, and analyze sequences of candidate genes across primary and secondary genepools. Develop and apply robust easy to use molecular markers for marker-assisted selection and implement genome editing to evaluate gene functions and improve stress tolerance traits. Perform field evaluations of input and output genotypes and release advanced breeding lines adapted to major U.S. lettuce production areas of California, Arizona, and Florida.