Genetic research aims to help strawberry breeding

Scientists from the University of New Hampshire (UNH) in the USA say they have unlocked the genetic secrets of one of the ancestors of cultivated strawberry and their work will now help modern variety breeding.

Fragaria iinumae: genetic analysis research carried out - image: Quert1234
Fragaria iinumae: genetic analysis research carried out - image: Quert1234

The cultivated strawberry is believed to trace its genetic ancestry to as many as four diploid ancestral wild strawberries. At the UNH Agricultural Experiment Station, which specialises in strawberry research, a four-year genetic analysis of one such ancestor, Fragaria iinumae, yielded a linkage map of its seven chromosomes to the eight sets of chromosomes of the (octoploid) cultivated plant.

"Many people are trying to understand the ancestry of the cultivated strawberry so that they can better understand traits associated with specific genetic markers, such as fruit quality, flowering habits and resistance to diseases," researcher Lise Mahoney explained. "Defining the genomes of the cultivated strawberry's wild ancestors will help guide the use of genetic information in breeding for a better cultivated strawberry."

In 2011, UNH researchers were part of a team that sequenced F. vesca, another diploid ancestor of the cultivated strawberry. The work has since been put to use in strawberry genetic research around the world. "This remarkable genetic map is a valuable research tool in itself and provides a necessary resource for assembly of a F. iinumae reference genomic sequence as a much-needed complement to the previously published reference genome for F. vesca," added Mahoney.

"We are putting the genomic knowledge, resources and technologies to work at UNH to develop new strawberry varieties that will be locally adapted and suitable for organic production, to the benefit of regional strawberry growers and consumers." The research was published in The Plant Genome journal.


Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Sign up now
Already registered?
Sign in

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus

Read These Next

Horticulture education update - staying on course

Horticulture education update - staying on course

Raised levels of investment in horticulture education and increased student take-up is welcome news for the industry, says Rachel Anderson.

How will reduced apple and pear harvests hit the industry?

How will reduced apple and pear harvests hit the industry?

This spring, many top-fruit growers in the UK and across Europe were dismayed to discover that swathes of their orchards had been hit by frost.

How should fruit growers prepare for water abstraction reform?

How should fruit growers prepare for water abstraction reform?

Upcoming reforms to water abstraction licensing will for the first time cap the amount of water that fruit growers can take for trickle irrigation.