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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Byron, Georgia » Fruit and Tree Nut Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #316559

Research Project: Breeding Stone Fruit Adapted to the Production Environment of the Southeastern United States

Location: Fruit and Tree Nut Research

Title: New genetic tools to improve citrus fruit quality and drive consumer demand

item GMITTER, FRED - University Of Florida
item Chen, Chunxian
item WEI, XU - University Of Florida
item YU, YUAN - University Of Florida
item YU, QIBIN - University Of Florida

Submitted to: International Horticultural Congress
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/11/2013
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: N/A

Interpretive Summary: Consumers are attracted to citrus fruit first by color and appearance, and later by aroma, flavor and inherent health-promoting benefits. Each of these attributes represents a complex trait under polygenic control. Citrus peel and flesh color is determined primarily by accumulations of various carotenoid compounds. Flavor and aroma, likewise, are a composite of a multitude of primary and secondary metabolites in different combinations and concentrations that interact with human sensory receptors to result in the perception of flavor and aroma. Flavor, aroma and health-promoting benefits of citrus are tied together through metabolic pathway interconnections, as well; therefore genetic improvement of these consumer critical characteristics is a daunting task, made all the more challenging by limitations imposed on breeding woody perennial fruit tree species. New genomic tools can be used to improve citrus fruit quality and drive consumer demand more efficiently.

Technical Abstract: Chemical and genomic dissection of important components underlying fruit quality has led toward the development of new tools to make the creation and selection of citrus cultivars improved in quality attributes more targeted and efficient. The use of SNP platforms and other technologies have resulted in high-density linkage maps and the identification of critical QTL regions controlling fruit quality. Availability of several citrus genome sequences enables identification of candidate genes underlying QTLs, which can be used to develop precise markers for selection. The development of these tools will be described as well as their applications in genetic improvement of citrus fruit quality.