Controlling supply, quality and waste in brassica vegetable crops: Understanding the causes of variation in maturity of purple sprouting broccoli

Lead Research Organisation: John Innes Centre
Department Name: Contracts Office


Feasibility Horticulture LINK project: The aim of this Defra-funded feasibility HortLINK project is to identify genes that will enable the development of breeding techniques to control the heading date of purple sprouting broccoli. How different varieties respond to vernalization has a big effect on when and how they mature. Identifying alleles for characters which control this trait and learning more about the differential temperature response of individual varieties will improve the grower's ability to reliably predict harvest periods. This project will explore the genetic basis of variation in the vernalization response in Brassica. It will effectively translate knowledge gained in Arabidopsis to identify corresponding genes that perform the same or similar functions in vegetable Brassicas. This will allow us to address key questions about the impact of climate patterns on the availability of UK-produced quality Brassica vegetables. Using a high throughput, fluorescent-labelled marker system genetic maps will be produced from three populations of PSB that encompass a wide range of variation in vernalization response. Simultaneously field trials will be conducted at two geographic locations so QTL for heading date and vernalization response can be identified under two different growing regimes. This initial analysis will identify the key regions of the B. oleracea genome responsible for the variation in vernalization response in the three populations.


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