LWV23099 From Omics data to novel breeding targets in pepper (BO-68-001-066)

Project: LNV project

Project Details


Pepper is one of the most important vegetable crops worldwide. Capsicum annuum, the most cultivated pepper species, is mainly consumed as non-pungent bell peppers in Europe and as spicy pointed types in Asia. The EU-funded G2P-SOL project created a representative C. annuum core collection of 400 accessions. This collection has been extensively phenotyped for various traits such as postharvest shelf life as part of the running TKI project “Breeding for postharvest quality in fruits and vegetables” (LWV19130).

While the core collection's phenotypic diversity offers valuable traits for breeders and consumers, the genetic basis of these traits remains largely unknown, hampering efficient utilization. To address this, a consortium of research institutes and companies, including this consortium, is currently sequencing the entire C. annuum core collection. This provides a comprehensive dataset for exploring the genetics underlying the observed traits, facilitating their exploitation for breeding.

The project's goal is to unlock the genetic potential of the C. annuum core collection, providing breeders with valuable sources for their programs. To achieve this, a pre-breeding toolbox will be developed, utilizing GWAS and allele mining principles. This generic toolbox can be applied to any phenotypic trait of interest! Currently, no single commercial software package fulfils the project's needs, necessitating the assembly of existing software and custom tools into a user-friendly pre-breeding toolbox.

The efficacy of the approach will be demonstrated by identifying the genetic basis of postharvest shelf life, which is a complex multifactorial trait influenced by genetic background and environmental conditions. Focus will be on post-harvest water loss, stable pungency, pigmentation under varying growth conditions and aroma.

Ultimately, the project aims to identify causal genes for these traits, enabling the development of markers for the causal gene and to mine for alleles with varying strength.

Effective start/end date1/01/2431/12/27