Breeding Vegetables with Improved Bioactive Properties

Mariola PLAZAS, Santiago VILANOVA, Isabel ANDášJAR, Pietro GRAMAZIO, F. Javier HERRAIZ, M. Dolores RAIGá“N, Salvador SOLER, Maria FIGá€S, Adrián RODRáGUEZ-BURRUEZO, Ana FITA, Dionís BORRá€S, Jaime PROHENS

Abstract


Vegetable crops contain significant amounts of many bioactive compounds which prevent and/or protect against chronic diseases. Consumers increasingly demand vegetables with improved bioactive properties and this is stimulating the development of new cultivars with enhanced content in bioactive compounds. Generally, breeding programmes of specific crops are aimed at increasing the most relevant bioactive compounds of each crop. The success of these breeding programmes depends on the availability of sources of variation for bioactive compounds. Traditional varieties and wild relatives collections are generally very variable for these compounds and in many cases it is possible to identify sources of variation of great interest among these materials. There are several breeding strategies for improving the content in bioactive compounds, including conventional strategies based on phenotyping, as well as modern strategies that rely on marker assisted selection or genetic transformation. Breeding for the enhancement of bioactive compounds may affect vegetables in a positive (e.g., extended shelflife)or negative (e.g., browning, bitterness) way other relevant traits for the success of a cultivar. The negative side effects may be circumvented by using complementary breeding strategies aimed at reducing or removing the negative impact on the characteristics and performance of a new cultivar. In summary, breeding can contribute to the development of a new generation of vegetable crops with enhanced bioactive properties and therefore to the development of the horticultural sector.

Keywords


antioxidants; breeding strategies; diversity; genetic improvement; marker assisted selection; new cultivars; wild relatives

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15835/buasvmcn-hort:10295




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