Consumer quality traits, such as flavour, nutritional value, colour and firmness are becoming increasingly important in current plant breeding programs. Advances in X-omics technologies make it possible to study these complex, multifactorial traits. The Breeding for Quality group aims to elucidate the genetic and molecular basis underlying these fruit quality traits, using genetic, genomic and metabolomics approaches.
Research is carried out in a multi-disciplinary setting, in close collaboration with research groups specialised in sensory analyses, human nutrition, metabolomics and statistics. In addition there is a longstanding collaboration with several breeding companies.
Our research approach
Our research mainly focusses on elucidating the molecular genetic and biochemical basis of flavour and health-related metabolic pathways in tomato and pepper. In general we use two complementary approaches:
- a genetic approach including utilisation of (exotic) germplasm collections, development of breeding populations and extensive geno- and phenotyping to identify QTLs underlying flavour attributes and health-related compounds and
- a functional genomics/metabolomics approach to elucidate the biochemical pathways and key genes underlying specific flavour-related volatiles and health-related metabolites. Highlights of our research include a detailed insight in the genetic loci and metabolic pathways relevant for tomato fruit flavour and the elucidation of a novel mechanism to determine the release of flavour-related volatiles through differential glyco-conjugation of their immediate precursors.
Focus on genetic strategies
Future focus is geared towards the design of (molecular) genetic strategies and the development of breeding (half) materials to solve four major problems/needs:
- to maintain a good fruit quality throughout the post-harvest production chain in order to prevent or limit food waste,
- to maintain quality at increased production and yield,
- to achieve good quality fruits under sub-optimal growing conditions and
- to develop specialised food products for specific consumer groups (personalised nutrition).
Global range expansion history of pepper (Capsicum spp.) revealed by over 10,000 genebank accessionsProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 118 (2021)34. - ISSN 0027-8424
Neofunctionalisation of the Sli gene leads to self-compatibility and facilitates precision breeding in potatoNature Communications 12 (2021)1. - ISSN 2041-1723
The genetic basis of tomato aromaGenes 12 (2021)2. - ISSN 2073-4425 - p. 1 - 26.
Reprogramming of Tomato Leaf Metabolome by the Activity of Heat Stress Transcription Factor HsfB1Frontiers in Plant Science 11 (2020). - ISSN 1664-462X
Linked data platform for solanaceae speciesApplied Sciences 10 (2020)19. - ISSN 2076-3417
Exploration of a Resequenced Tomato Core Collection for Phenotypic and Genotypic Variation in Plant Growth and Fruit Quality TraitsGenes 11 (2020)11. - ISSN 2073-4425 - 22 p.
Analysis of wild tomato introgression lines elucidates the genetic basis of transcriptome and metabolome variation underlying fruit traits and pathogen responseNature Genetics 52 (2020). - ISSN 1061-4036 - p. 1111 - 1121.
The genetic and functional analysis of flavor in commercial tomato: the FLORAL4 gene underlies a QTL for floral aroma volatiles in tomato fruitThe Plant Journal 103 (2020)3. - ISSN 0960-7412
The rin, nor and Cnr spontaneous mutations inhibit tomato fruit ripening in additive and epistatic mannersPlant Science 294 (2020). - ISSN 0168-9452
Introgression of Genes for Resistance against Phytophthora infestans in Diploid PotatoAmerican Journal of Potato Research 97 (2020)1. - ISSN 1099-209X - p. 33 - 42.
- Ying Liu
- Raana Roohani Taziani
- Yi Wu
- Xing Wang
- Fatima Carvajal Moreno
- Shilin Tian
- Lei Luo