Onion (Allium cepa L.) is the most widely cultivated horticultural crop in Europe. The annual production is gradually increasing and is now about 5 X 106 ton. The consumption of onion products is considered a growth market. Europe is not self sufficient in onions; we import sweet onion, and also dried onion products.To take advantage of this potential market opportunities for increasing the quality of the onion crop need to be identified and exploited. For onion, flavours and carbohydrates are the most important components of the internal quality. To meet the demands of the consumer, an improved control of these constituents is needed both for the processing and the fresh market. However, our knowledge concerning these factors is limited and this limitation severely constrains our ability to influence quality components.
The objective of this proposal is the improvement of onion in fresh and dried form in order to meet the demands of the common EC market, to increase the competitiveness of European onions in global trade, and to comply with the EC policy of environment protection. The object is to increase our self sufficiency contributing also to product quality and diversification.
Short description of the project
The proposal has four interrelated objectives :
1. To evaluate 90 geographically and physiologically different accessions of onion and 10 of the 600 wild species most closely related to onion for quality traits, especially high dry matter & low reducing sugar content and low pyruvate and low thiosulfinates content. The evaluation will lead to a highly efficient working collection.
2. To make pairwise crosses between the 10 most diverse parents found in 1. and thus develop markers for quality and a high density linkage map.
3. Testing the same parental material (working collection of 10) to isolate and express genes for quality traits.
4. Using the same material to develop a new processing technology for onion dehydration.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts
CV35 9EF Warwick
60026 Beauvais Cedex
265 00 Patras