|MENGIST, MOLLA - North Carolina State University|
|GRACE, MARY - North Carolina State University|
|Mackey, Theodore - Ted|
|MUNOZ, BRYAN - North Carolina State University|
|PUCKER, BOAS - Institute Of Plant Biology And Biotechnology|
|FERRUZZI, MARIO - North Carolina State University|
|LILA, MARY ANN - North Carolina State University|
|LORIZZO, MASSIMO - North Carolina State University|
Submitted to: Frontiers in Plant Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/26/2022
Publication Date: 9/2/2022
Citation: Mengist, M.F., Grace, M.H., Mackey, T.A., Munoz, B., Pucker, B., Bassil, N.V., Luby, C.H., Ferruzzi, M., Lila, M., Lorizzo, M. 2022. Dissecting the genetic basis of bioactive metabolites and fruit quality traits in blueberries (Vaccinium corymbosum L.). Frontiers in Plant Science. 13. Article 964656. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpls.2022.964656.
Interpretive Summary: Blueberry is known in part for its health properties, which largely come from anthocyanins and chlorgenic acid. However, no one has yet looked at the genetic basis for accumulation of these compounds in blueberry fruit. To do this, we measured anthocyanin and chlorogenic acid content as well as fruit quality traits such as titratable acidity, pH, and soluble solids in blueberry fruit over 3 years. We were able to coorelate this data with genetic data for the population of plants. We were able to find several candidate genes that may be responsible for these characteristics in blueberry. Overall, the study provides the first insights into the genetic basis controlling anthocyanins accumulation and composition and establishes a frame-work to advance genetic studies and molecular breeding for anthocyanins in blueberry.
Technical Abstract: Blueberry is a well-recognized healthy fruit with functionality derived largely from anthocyanin and chlorogenic acid. Despite their importance, no study to date has evaluated the genetic basis of these bioactives in blueberries. Hence, to fill this gap, a mapping population including 196 F1 in-dividuals was phenotyped for anthocyanin and chlorogenic acid content and fruit quality traits (titratable acidity, pH, and total soluble solids) over three years and data were used for QTL mapping and correlation analysis. Across all the traits, a total of 188 QTLs were identified on chromosomes 1, 2, 4, 8, 9, 11 and 12. Notably, four major regions with overlapping major-effect QTLs were identified on chromosomes 1, 2, 4 and 8, and were responsible for acylation and gly-cosylation of anthocyanins in a substrate and sugar donor specific manner. Through comparative transcriptome analysis, multiple candidate genes were identified for these major QTLs, including glucosyltransferases and acyltransferases. Overall, the study provides the first insights into the genetic basis controlling anthocyanins accumulation and composition and establishes a frame-work to advance genetic studies and molecular breeding for anthocyanins in blueberry.