Submitted to: Plant Breeding
Publication Type: Peer reviewed journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/2/2012
Publication Date: 6/1/2012
Citation: Chambers, A., Whitaker, V., Gibbs, B., Plotto, A., Folta, K. 2012. Detection of the linalool-producing NES1 variant across diverse strawberry (Fragaria spp.) accessions. Plant Breeding. 131(3):437-443. Interpretive Summary: Volatiles with fruity or floral aroma characteristics contribute to the pleasant fruity flavor of strawberries. In this study, the expression of the floral volatile linalool and its gene was characterized in a large set of strawberry genotypes. The results indicate that genetic chromosome number has a role in linalool expression, and that linalool may play a role in strawberry biology other than a role in flavor.
Technical Abstract: Many volatile compounds have been shown to influence the flavor of strawberry (Fragaria spp.) fruit. A published study demonstrated that linalool, a critical flavor compound, is produced in cultivated F. xananassa varieties due to a truncated form of the NEROLIDOL SYNTHASE (NES) enzyme. The corresponding allele (FaNES1) features a 5’-deletion that is detectable by PCR. Herein we tested a broad set of strawberry genotypes to understand the origin of the allele and identify materials that may be preferred candidates for molecular breeding. The results indicate that the FaNES1 allele (linalool+) is not present in any diploid, tetraploid, or hexaploid accession tested. It is present in 112 F. xananassa cultivars examined. The FaNES1 allele is present in all but three of 46 wild F. virginiana and F. chiloensis genotypes. Two of these three lines continue to produce linalool despite the absence of the allele. This survey suggests that the FaNES1 allele most likely arose just after octoploidization, and that linalool possibly is an important factor in strawberry biology, aside from its role in flavor.