Horticultural Crop Genetics and Improvement

A special issue of Genes (ISSN 2073-4425). This special issue belongs to the section "Plant Genetics and Genomics".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (25 June 2021) | Viewed by 16390

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
The Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation, The University of Queensland, Brisbane 4072, Australia
Interests: plant genetics; tissue culture; propagation; molecular physiology
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

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Guest Editor
Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia
Interests: genetics; crop improvement; flowering; gene regulation; molecular physiology; photoperiod; horticulture; cereals

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Guest Editor
Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, Horticulture and Forestry Science, Agri-Science Queensland, Queensland, Australia
Interests: subtropical horticulture; genomics; genetics; breeding; genetic markers; marker assisted selection; mango

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Advances in crop genomics and breeding have paved the way for the development of new and improved varieties of many valuable horticultural species. Recently, gene editing has been pioneered in a number of horticultural crops including tomato, grapes, and citrus. However, for some high-value species including sub-tropical horticultural tree species, traditional methods of breeding and selection have been the only options for improved varietal development. Difficulties faced with these species can include long juvenile phases and facultative outcrossing together with recalcitrance to tissue culture and transformation systems. Now however, with ongoing development of genomic resources and new innovations in gene-editing and tissue culture, there is potential for improvements not only to orthodox horticultural crops, but to such recalcitrant species.

The forthcoming Special Issue aims to provide an up-to-date overview of genomic resources and cutting-edge innovations in crop improvement for horticultural species, as well as new insights into the fundamental genetics and physiology of horticultural quality traits. We open this call to both studies or reviews on a wide range of horticultural species, and on topics including genomics, assisted breeding strategies, gene editing and transformation systems, and well as the molecular physiology of traits of interest. This will serve as a platform to explore recent advances in horticultural crop genetics and improvement to build resilience in the face of global change.

Dr. Alice Hayward
Dr. Lindsay Shaw
Dr. Natalie Dillon
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • Horticulture
  • Genetics
  • Genomics
  • Crop improvement
  • Breeding
  • Gene editing
  • Physiology

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

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19 pages, 2434 KiB  
Article
Quantitative Trait Loci for Heat Stress Tolerance in Brassica rapa L. Are Distributed across the Genome and Occur in Diverse Genetic Groups, Flowering Phenologies and Morphotypes
by Sheng Chen, Alice Hayward, Shyam S. Dey, Mukesh Choudhary, Khaing P. Witt Hmon, Fabian C. Inturrisi, Aria Dolatabadian, Ting Xiang Neik, Hua Yang, Kadambot H. M. Siddique, Jacqueline Batley and Wallace A. Cowling
Genes 2022, 13(2), 296; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes13020296 - 3 Feb 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2628
Abstract
Heat stress events during flowering in Brassica crops reduce grain yield and are expected to increase in frequency due to global climate change. We evaluated heat stress tolerance and molecular genetic diversity in a global collection of Brassica rapa accessions, including leafy, rooty [...] Read more.
Heat stress events during flowering in Brassica crops reduce grain yield and are expected to increase in frequency due to global climate change. We evaluated heat stress tolerance and molecular genetic diversity in a global collection of Brassica rapa accessions, including leafy, rooty and oilseed morphotypes with spring, winter and semi-winter flowering phenology. Tolerance to transient daily heat stress during the early reproductive stage was assessed on 142 lines in a controlled environment. Well-watered plants of each genotype were exposed to the control (25/15 °C day/night temperatures) or heat stress (35/25 °C) treatments for 7 d from the first open flower on the main stem. Bud and leaf temperature depression, leaf conductance and chlorophyll content index were recorded during the temperature treatments. A large genetic variation for heat tolerance and sensitivity was found for above-ground biomass, whole plant seed yield and harvest index and seed yield of five pods on the main stem at maturity. Genetic diversity was assessed on 212 lines with 1602 polymorphic SNP markers with a known location in the B. rapa physical map. Phylogenetic analyses confirmed two major genetic populations: one from East and South Asia and one from Europe. Heat stress-tolerant lines were distributed across diverse geographic origins, morphotypes (leafy, rooty and oilseed) and flowering phenologies (spring, winter and semi-winter types). A genome-wide association analysis of heat stress-related yield traits revealed 57 SNPs distributed across all 10 B. rapa chromosomes, some of which were associated with potential candidate genes for heat stress tolerance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Horticultural Crop Genetics and Improvement)
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15 pages, 13127 KiB  
Article
Genotyping-by-Sequencing-Based Genome-Wide Association Studies of Fusarium Wilt Resistance in Radishes (Raphanus sativus L.)
by O New Lee, Hyunjin Koo, Jae Woong Yu and Han Yong Park
Genes 2021, 12(6), 858; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes12060858 - 3 Jun 2021
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2926
Abstract
Fusarium wilt (FW) is a fungal disease that causes severe yield losses in radish production. The most effective method to control the FW is the development and use of resistant varieties in cultivation. The identification of marker loci linked to FW resistance are [...] Read more.
Fusarium wilt (FW) is a fungal disease that causes severe yield losses in radish production. The most effective method to control the FW is the development and use of resistant varieties in cultivation. The identification of marker loci linked to FW resistance are expected to facilitate the breeding of disease-resistant radishes. In the present study, we applied an integrated framework of genome-wide association studies (GWAS) using genotyping-by-sequencing (GBS) to identify FW resistance loci among a panel of 225 radish accessions, including 58 elite breeding lines. Phenotyping was conducted by manual inoculation of seedlings with the FW pathogen, and scoring for the disease index was conducted three weeks after inoculation during two constitutive years. The GWAS analysis identified 44 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and twenty putative candidate genes that were significantly associated with FW resistance. In addition, a total of four QTLs were identified from F2 population derived from a FW resistant line and a susceptible line, one of which was co-located with the SNPs on chromosome 7, detected in GWAS study. These markers will be valuable for molecular breeding programs and marker-assisted selection to develop FW resistant varieties of R. sativus. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Horticultural Crop Genetics and Improvement)
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17 pages, 5326 KiB  
Article
Characteristics of the AT-Hook Motif Containing Nuclear Localized (AHL) Genes in Carrot Provides Insight into Their Role in Plant Growth and Storage Root Development
by Gabriela Machaj and Dariusz Grzebelus
Genes 2021, 12(5), 764; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes12050764 - 18 May 2021
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2400
Abstract
The AT-hook motif containing nuclear localized (AHL) gene family, controlling various developmental processes, is conserved in land plants. They comprise Plant and Prokaryote Conserved (PPC) domain and one or two AT-hook motifs. DcAHLc1 has been proposed as a candidate gene governing the formation [...] Read more.
The AT-hook motif containing nuclear localized (AHL) gene family, controlling various developmental processes, is conserved in land plants. They comprise Plant and Prokaryote Conserved (PPC) domain and one or two AT-hook motifs. DcAHLc1 has been proposed as a candidate gene governing the formation of the carrot storage root. We identified and in-silico characterized carrot AHL proteins, performed phylogenetic analyses, investigated their expression profiles and constructed gene coexpression networks. We found 47 AHL genes in carrot and grouped them into two clades, A and B, comprising 29 and 18 genes, respectively. Within Clade-A, we distinguished three subclades, one of them grouping noncanonical AHLs differing in their structure (two PPC domains) and/or cellular localization (not nucleus). Coexpression network analysis attributed AHLs expressed in carrot roots into four of the 72 clusters, some of them showing a large number of interactions. Determination of expression profiles of AHL genes in various tissues and samples provided basis to hypothesize on their possible roles in the development of the carrot storage root. We identified a group of rapidly evolving noncanonical AHLs, possibly differing functionally from typical AHLs, as suggested by their expression profiles and their predicted cellular localization. We pointed at several AHLs likely involved in the development of the carrot storage root. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Horticultural Crop Genetics and Improvement)
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Review

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20 pages, 1106 KiB  
Review
Genetic Resources and Vulnerabilities of Major Cucurbit Crops
by Rebecca Grumet, James D. McCreight, Cecilia McGregor, Yiqun Weng, Michael Mazourek, Kathleen Reitsma, Joanne Labate, Angela Davis and Zhangjun Fei
Genes 2021, 12(8), 1222; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes12081222 - 7 Aug 2021
Cited by 34 | Viewed by 7248
Abstract
The Cucurbitaceae family provides numerous important crops including watermelons (Citrullus lanatus), melons (Cucumis melo), cucumbers (Cucumis sativus), and pumpkins and squashes (Cucurbita spp.). Centers of domestication in Africa, Asia, and the Americas were followed by distribution [...] Read more.
The Cucurbitaceae family provides numerous important crops including watermelons (Citrullus lanatus), melons (Cucumis melo), cucumbers (Cucumis sativus), and pumpkins and squashes (Cucurbita spp.). Centers of domestication in Africa, Asia, and the Americas were followed by distribution throughout the world and the evolution of secondary centers of diversity. Each of these crops is challenged by multiple fungal, oomycete, bacterial, and viral diseases and insects that vector disease and cause feeding damage. Cultivated varieties are constrained by market demands, the necessity for climatic adaptations, domestication bottlenecks, and in most cases, limited capacity for interspecific hybridization, creating narrow genetic bases for crop improvement. This analysis of crop vulnerabilities examines the four major cucurbit crops, their uses, challenges, and genetic resources. ex situ germplasm banks, the primary strategy to preserve genetic diversity, have been extensively utilized by cucurbit breeders, especially for resistances to biotic and abiotic stresses. Recent genomic efforts have documented genetic diversity, population structure, and genetic relationships among accessions within collections. Collection size and accessibility are impacted by historical collections, current ability to collect, and ability to store and maintain collections. The biology of cucurbits, with insect-pollinated, outcrossing plants, and large, spreading vines, pose additional challenges for regeneration and maintenance. Our ability to address ongoing and future cucurbit crop vulnerabilities will require a combination of investment, agricultural, and conservation policies, and technological advances to facilitate collection, preservation, and access to critical Cucurbitaceae diversity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Horticultural Crop Genetics and Improvement)
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