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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Salinas, California » Crop Improvement and Protection Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #401486

Research Project: Genetics and Breeding of Lettuce, Spinach, Melon, and Related Species to Improve Production and Consumer-related Traits

Location: Crop Improvement and Protection Research

Title: Improving the post-harvest quality and shelf-life of lettuce with molecular breeding

item TAYLOR, GAIL - University Of California
item LINGGA, NICO - University Of California
item DAMERUM, ANNABELLE - University Of California
item Simko, Ivan
item MICHELMORE, RICHARD - University Of California
item MILNER, SUZANNE - University Of California

Submitted to: Plant and Animal Genome Conference
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/1/2023
Publication Date: 1/18/2023
Citation: Taylor, G., Lingga, N., Damerum, A., Simko, I., Michelmore, R., Milner, S. 2023. Improving the post-harvest quality and shelf-life of lettuce with molecular breeding. Plant and Animal Genome Conference, January 13-18, 2023, San Diego, California.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: The over-arching aim of this research is to improve the quality and shelf life of both whole head and spring mix lettuce, reducing post-harvest losses and improving nutritional quality. The genetic control of lettuce leaf shelf-life quality traits was quantified, identifying molecular markers for these complex traits that can be fed into multiple commercial breeding programs. The analysis of the lettuce leaf microbiome data that has been generated using up to 20 commercial lines and the GWAS population, providing foundational information on how leaf microbes vary across both commercial varieties and mapping populations and to relate this to surface characteristics of lettuce leaves. Post-harvest leaf quality and shelf-life are likely to be controlled by multiple genes, rather than a single gene, as summarized recently in a review article by our laboratory. Using this information from multiple field trials at Davis, Salinas, in the greenhouse, and from prior European research, we have identified a set of QTL and associations that are now allowing us to elucidate the molecular basis of shelf life and nutritional status. The objective of this study is to perform genome-wide association studies to identify significant marker-trait associations for shelf-life and refine our major QTL for shelf life, antioxidant (AO) status, carotenoids, and chlorophyll. A major QTL on chromosome 6 has been identified for shelf life for whole baby leaves, that is different to that identified for cut lettuce on chromosome 4.