Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/17/2006
Publication Date: 1/1/2007
Citation: Simon, P.W., Goldman, I.L. 2007. Carrot. In: Singh, R.J. Genetic Resources, Chromosome Engineering, and Crop Improvement Series, Volume 3. Boca Raton: CRC Press. p. 497-517. Interpretive Summary: Hybrid carrot development was of primary importance to carrot breeders up through the 1970s. Today that goal has largely been achieved, and hybrid carrot is a reality worldwide. Improvement efforts in carrot have not yet focused on developing carrots suited for organic and sustainable production systems, despite the popularity of the crop for such systems worldwide. Future carrot breeders may further enhance carrot production and profitability by directing their efforts toward cultivar development for these environments. The carrot crop today has benefited from the efforts of carrot breeders to improve crop production and consumer quality. Carrot nutritional quality improvement is one of the success stories of crop improvement to meet consumer needs. Improvements in carrot flavor have also contributed to meeting consumer expectations. New molecular tools for carrot breeding are under development and these will facilitate improvement of this crop in the future. This research is of interest to carrot and vegetable growers, breeders, and consumers.
Technical Abstract: Carrot is among the top 10 most important vegetable crops in terms of area devoted to its production and tonnage of crop production. Like most of the other crops in the lower half of the top 10 list, relatively little effort and resources have been devoted to carrot breeding and even today there are few breeding programs around the world with an effort predominantly on carrot and very few with an exclusive focus on carrot. Yet in the last 50 years there has been significant progress in carrot breeding. A wide range of germplasm has been collected and incorporated into cultivated carrots, carrot reproductive biology and genetics has expanded, and progress in improving production, pest resistance, and consumer quality has been significant. Biotechnological tools are being developed to accelerate progress in carrot improvement.