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Establishing the basis for MAS of salad genotypes with different discolouration potential - HH3707SFV

The cut salad industry is currently growing at 15 - 20% per annum to cater for increased consumer demand for ready-prepared fresh foods from the multiple retailers. Cut salads, in particular, suffer from discolouration at the cut surfaces after only a couple of days in-store. This, together with huge variation in intake quality, contributes to reduced consumer acceptance of an added-value item for which they (the consumers) have to pay a significant premium.
The short and variable shelf-life in cut salad products results in high production, processor and retail wastage (up to 30%) which cost the UK industry an estimated £2.5 million per annum plus associated transport and packaging costs.
Conventionally, the primary goals for lettuce breeders have been for characters such as disease resistance, yield, colour and flavour, with little or no emphasis on the degree of discolouration following processing.
Although research has demonstrated the great impact that pre-harvest factors have on discolouration of cut salads post-processing (HL 232; CSA 4965), further research is required to understand the heritability of discolouration potential in lettuce, and to develop tools and techniques for marker-assisted breeding and selection for low discolouration traits. This will enable the breeders to select for low discolouration whilst also breeding for other highly important attributes such as downy mildew resistance. Iceberg var 'Saladin' and Batavia blonde-a-bod rouge ar 'Iceberg' have been used as the parents in crosses used for the HRI F6 single-seed descent line population for which a genetic map is being constructed (HH0911SFV).
The proposed research will quantify and compare post-processing discoloration levels in 'Saladin' and 'Iceberg' when grown under the same conditions, and use this as the basis for segregation of genes associated with discolouration.
1. Quantify and compare post-processing discolouration levels and PAL and PPO activity in 'Saladin' and 'Iceberg'.

Project Documents
• Final Report : Establishing the basis for MAS of salad genotypes with different discolouration potential   (561k)
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 2001

To: 2002

Cost: £16,500
Contractor / Funded Organisations
Horticulture Research International
Fields of Study