Skip to main content
ARS Home » Midwest Area » Madison, Wisconsin » Vegetable Crops Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #309876

Title: The next generation of carotenoid studies in carrot (Daucus carota L.)

item ELLISON, S - University Of Wisconsin
item IORRIZO, M - University Of Wisconsin
item Senalik, Douglas
item Simon, Philipp

Submitted to: Acta Horticulturae
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/17/2015
Publication Date: 3/10/2017
Citation: Ellison, S., Iorrizo, M., Senalik, D., Simon, P.W. 2017. The next generation of carotenoid studies in carrot (Daucus carota L.). Acta Horticulturae. 1153:93-100. doi: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2017.1153.14.

Interpretive Summary: While orange carrots are the typical color today, yellow carrots are also grown in small production areas around the world. Earlier research indicated that one gene, Y2, controls the yellow versus orange difference, but the location of this gene on the carrot genetic map was not well-defined. In this study, we used a new method to map genes called GBS (genotyping by sequencing) to locate the Y2 gene. With GBS we were able to more accurately map the Y2 gene than was possible before, which will make breeding for yellow carrots easier, and make identifying the function of Y2 more straightforward. This research is of interest to vegetable breeders and growers, and plant genomics researchers.

Technical Abstract: Orange carrot (Daucus carota L.) is one of the richest sources of naturally occurring ß-carotene while red and yellow carrot varieties contain large quantities of lycopene and lutein. The human body utilizes carotenoids, particularly ß-carotene (provitamin A) as a precursor for the production of retinol, which is imperative for normal vision. Further, lycopene has been associated with a lowered risk of prostate cancer in men and a reduction of heart disease, while lutein can cause a significant reduction in the risk for cataract and age-related macular degeneration. Until recently, understanding the regulation and accumulation of carotenoids in carrot was limited by the amount of genomic resources available, with all previous studies focusing on characterized carotenoid biosynthesis genes. Here we demonstrate the utility of Genotyping-by-Sequencing (GBS) to develop genome-wide markers in a carrot mapping population segregating for ß-carotene accumulation. Phenotypic data for ß-carotene accumulation was acquired using visual assessment and High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC). Employing GBS, in conjunction with the Universal Network Enabled Analysis Kit (UNEAK) TASSEL pipeline, we identified 37,361 SNPs novel SNPs. After filtering for missing data, a genetic linkage map was constructed using 569 high-quality SNPs with an average distance of 1.3 cM between markers. ß-carotene accumulation was mapped to a 1.1 cM region on the distal end of Chromosome 7 with the closest marker located 0.4 cM away. Increased understanding of the genetic regulation of carotenoids, through the use of next generation technologies, will help plant breeders and researchers improve existing carrot varieties by enhancing their health promoting qualities.