Submitted to: HortScience
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/12/2017
Publication Date: 9/19/2017
Citation: Honaas, L.A. 2017. Enhancing postharvest tree fruit quality with functional genomics [abstract]. HortScience. 52(9):S252.
Technical Abstract: Decoding the apple genome was an important step towards a detailed understanding of how genotype gives way to phenotype. The next steps include placement of genes in relevant functional contexts. Functional genomics aims to do this by leveraging powerful technologies that produce massive gene activity measurement datasets - typically on the scale of 100s of millions of data points. One widely used approach is RNA-Seq, where the sequence of messenger RNAs (often small mRNA fragments) are determined in a massively parallel fashion. These measurements are taken in the context of familiar molecular biology and horticulture experiments and add a valuable facet to the work. Non-targeted measurements greatly enhance our ability to discover genes encoding novel functions and pathways related to postharvest fruit quality. Our approach is to use, refine, and develop bioinformatic approaches to maximize the impact of functional genomics techniques towards enhancing postharvest Rosaceous tree fruit quality. Results of this work potentially include predictive and diagnostic tests, plus refined postharvest management practices and novel therapeutics. Ultimately, a detailed understanding of the genetics of fruit ripening and quality will emerge as a powerful tool for tree fruit research.