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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Candidate Genes Affecting Fructan Accumulation in Onion

item Raines, Steve
item Havey, Michael
item Henson, Cynthia

Submitted to: Plant and Animal Genome Conference
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/5/2006
Publication Date: 1/21/2007
Citation: Raines, S., Havey, M.J., Henson, C.A. 2007. Candidate Genes Affecting Fructan Accumulation in Onion [abstract]. Plant and Animal Genome Conference. Available:

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Fructans are soluble carbohydrates composed of chains of fructose attached to a basal sucrose molecule. Substantiated health benefits of fructan consumption include regularized bowel functions, increased absorption of calcium and magnesium, and reduced triglycerides in the blood stream. Fructans also act as a prebiotic, selectively encouraging growth of beneficial bifidiobacteria and lactobacilli in the gastro-intestinal tract. In onion, higher fructan concentrations are correlated with greater soluble solids content and higher pungency. A region on onion chromosome 5 accounted for a significant portion of the phenotypic variation for dry matter and pungency. However, this region showed no significant effects on soluble solids content, dry matter, or pungency when the family means were adjusted for dry weights. This indicates that the region on chromosome 5 may affect relative water content of bulbs; the accumulation of high concentrations of fructans reduces water retention, concentrating the organosulfur compounds responsible for pungency. We analyzed fructans from replicated field trials of families segregating across this target region and are using a candidate gene approach to identify the factors affecting fructan accumulation. To isolate possible candidates, a cDNA subtraction library was created to enrich for sequences differentially expressed in high and low fructan accumulating genetic backgrounds.

Last Modified: 10/17/2017
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