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  • Author or Editor: Jesse J. Murray x
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Fusarium wilt of lettuce is caused by the pathogen Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. lactucae (Fol) and is a growing threat to global lettuce production. Fol was first detected in Florida in 2017 and was subsequently confirmed as race 1. Management strategies for this long-persisting soil pathogen are limited, time-consuming and expensive, and they may lack efficacy. Identifying diverse sources of genetic resistance is imperative for breeding adapted cultivars with durable resistance. The objectives of this study were to identify sources of resistance against a race 1 isolate of Fol in Florida, delineate the relationship between foliar and taproot symptoms, and investigate the inheritance of resistance and partial resistance in two F2 populations. Thirteen experiments were conducted in greenhouse and field locations to characterize the diversity of genetic resistance in the genus Lactuca. Leaf cultivars Dark Lollo Rossa and Galactic; romaine breeding lines 43007, 60182, and C1145; and iceberg breeding line 47083 consistently exhibited low foliar and taproot disease symptoms. Resistance was not identified among the wildtype Lactuca or primitive plant introductions (PI) in this study based on taproot symptoms. An additional test was conducted to study the segregation pattern of Fol resistance between one resistant and one susceptible accession (R × S) and one partial resistant and one susceptible accession (PR × S). The F2 population from ‘60182 × PI 358001-1’ fit the expected segregation ratio for a single recessive locus model, whereas the ratio for ‘Dark Lollo Rossa × PI 358001-1’ did not fit either recessive or dominant single locus models. These sources of resistance are potential candidates for developing commercial cultivars with multiple resistance loci against Fol race 1, especially for the Florida lettuce production system.

Open Access

Growing vegetables in controlled environments (CEs), such as hydroponics, aquaponics, and vertical structures, is a rapidly expanding industry in Florida and the United States, especially in nearby urban areas. Although lettuce (Lactuca sativa) is still mostly produced in fields, growing in CEs proximal to urban areas has become increasingly popular because it may facilitate reduced transportation time and associated postharvest degradation. Lettuce is among the top-most consumed vegetables in the United States and could provide some of the nutrition missing in the US diet. This research was planned to understand the levels of some vitamins that are key for human health, including vitamin E (tocopherols), vitamin K1 (phylloquinone), and vitamin C (ascorbic acid), in lettuce grown in greenhouse hydroponics. Lettuce germplasm was grown using the hydroponic nutrient film technique system in three greenhouse experiments: at the beginning, middle, and end of the Florida, USA, growing season (from Aug 2020 to Mar 2021). Genetic variation for these vitamins were found among the germplasm tested in the four morphological types of lettuce, romaine, Boston, Latin, and leaf. In addition, a sugar analysis was conducted in this germplasm, of which fructose was the most abundant sugar. A significant genotype × environment (G × E) interaction was observed, indicating that the levels of these compounds, especially vitamins, was environment dependent. However, the presence of certain non-crossover G × E interactions indicates that selecting lettuce in a representative environment could result in new cultivars with higher vitamin content. This research marks the initial steps to improve lettuce for these vitamins, which can contribute to better health of US consumers, not for the highest amount of these compounds in lettuce but for the offset due to its high consumption.

Open Access