The Important Role of Germplasm in Improving Carrot, Onion, and Garlic

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  • 1 Vegetable Crops Research Unit, Dept. of Horticulture, Univ. of Wisconsin, Madison, WI 53706.

Genetic improvement of carrot, onion, and garlic has depended upon introgression of alleles from foreign cultivars, from wild forms of cultivated species, and from wild species. Introgression of Asian germplasm in European carrots has resulted in more than a doubling of carotene content; wild carrot has provided two of the most widely used male-sterile cytoplasms for production of hybrids; and Daucus capillifolius has been used as a source of resistance to carrot fly. Onion male-sterile cytoplasm used for hybrid production has its origins in a species related to onion, while resistance to several diseases originated in foreign cultivars. Production of true garlic seed has depended on a broad germplasm base for its success. More examples and germplasm utilization strategies will be discussed.

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