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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Hilo, Hawaii » Daniel K. Inouye U.S. Pacific Basin Agricultural Research Center » Tropical Plant Genetic Resources and Disease Research » Research » Research Project #434255

Research Project: Development of Genetic Resources for Select Tropical Crops

Location: Tropical Plant Genetic Resources and Disease Research

Project Number: 2040-21000-017-018-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Sep 1, 2018
End Date: Aug 31, 2023

The overall goal of this project is to develop genetic resources for tropical crops (such as coffee, papaya, pineapple, cacao, and sugarcane) with improved horticultural traits, disease resistance, and quality. Specific objectives are to: 1) Identify disease resistance genes for coffee leaf rust in diverse coffee germplasm using genomic approaches; 2) Develop and release coffee germplasm with rust resistance and superior cupping quality; 3) Identify pathogen resistance genes in wildtype papaya using genomic approaches; 4) Develop genomic resources for important traits such as sex differentiation in papaya and self-compatibility in pineapple; 5) Maintain a back-up collection of elite sugarcane lines and evaluate select intercrosses for value-added products; 6) Evaluate and identify individual cacao cultivars for unique/fine flavor characteristics.

Coffee germplasm derived from rust resistant Catimor varieties and their hybrids with Hawaiian cultivars will be evaluated as clonal material for rust resistance by an international partner. Yield and cupping quality of resistant lines will be evaluated in Hawaii by HARC and DKI-PBARC scientists. A core collection of elite coffee germplasm will be identified from material included in HARC’s program for potential transfer to DKI-PBARC. Rust resistance genes will be identified from coffee in the China Yunnan germplasm repository using genomic approaches. Natural resistance genes from wildtypes of papaya to papaya ringspot virus and oomycete pathogens will be identified using genomic approaches. Genomic resources and genetic markers for important traits such as sex differentiation in papaya and self-compatibility in pineapple will be developed. A selection of sugarcane lines will be maintained on HARC land as back-up to the sugarcane clonal repository in Miami, Florida which occasionally loses lines in severe weather events. Superior lines will be hybridized and evaluated to expand the valued added product selection and quality from sugarcane. A core collection of selected cacao cultivars will be identified from existing material in Hawaii. Genomic resources and controlled processing will be used to determine flavor profiles. New technologies will be transferred to scientists and stakeholders for the improvement of tropical crops.