Skip to main content
ARS Home » Midwest Area » Madison, Wisconsin » Vegetable Crops Research » Research » Research Project #441738

Research Project: Cranberry Physiology

Location: Vegetable Crops Research

Project Number: 5090-21220-004-026-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Jun 1, 2022
End Date: May 31, 2023

Objective:
1) Investigating genetic variability in cranberry cultivars for their gas exchange parameters and their relationship to fruit yield. 2) Understanding the physiological and molecular responses of cranberry to different soil pH conditions.

Approach:
Objective 1: We will explore genetic variability in cranberry cultivars using existing cranberry cultivars grown at the Cooperator’s research station and the Wisconsin cranberry research station. The method entails investigating gas exchange factors like photosynthesis, transpiration, internal carbon, and water use efficiency in several cranberry cultivars. The parameters will be measured at several stages of development, including the hook stage, blooming stage, fruit development stage, and mature fruit stage. We will measure the anatomy of the cranberry cultivars in addition to the gas exchange. We will compare gas exchange parameters to stomatal size, stomatal number, xylem vessel size, and epidermal cell number. All of the factors, particularly photosynthesis, will be compared to the fruit yield in order to determine the critical stage that contributes to cranberry yield. Objective 2: We will investigate the influence of different pH regimes on cranberry growth and development, as well as yield. We will monitor available nutrients in the soil and plants because soil pH effects nutrient availability and uptake and evaluate the relationship with fruit size. Aside from soil pH, we willassess plant and fruit nutrients to better understand the nutrient factors that influence cranberry fruit size and firmness. Once we understand how pH affects nutrient availability and absorption, we will identify ways to grow cranberries better in low-pH environments. The method also includes the use of transcriptome and metabolic profiling to assess physiological responses to varying soil pH levels in cranberry cultivars. Plant physiological responses to soil pH will be explored, including gas exchange parameters, water potential, growth, and development, as well as nutrition usage. To identify the potential genes involved in physiological responses, transcriptome profiling experiments will be carried out. To further understand the physiological mechanisms, metabolic (amino acid, organic acid, and carbohydrate) responses will be studied.