Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Breeding Elongated Grapes

Date:
February 17, 2009
Source:
American Society for Horticultural Science
Summary:
Round, oblong, and in-between: the shapes of the fruits we eat are not always coincidental or, for that matter, thanks to nature. Scientists investigated how to characterize shape variation and how to find genetic markers that could help breeders produce elongated grapes without waiting years to see the actual fruit on the vine.

Digital analysis is used to characterize the shapes of grapes.
Credit: Photo by John R. Clark

Round, oblong, and in-between: the shapes of the fruits we eat are not always coincidental or, for that matter, thanks to nature. Before fruit arrives in local groceries, a lot of time and effort may have gone into creating the varieties found in the produce section.

In the mid-1960s, Dr. James N. Moore of the University of Arkansas began a grape breeding program, working toward developing varieties with elongated shapes. Now, 40 years later, Dr. John R. Clark continues this effort. One of these unique-shaped developments has been researched further, first to characterize the shape variation, with subsequent work to find genetic markers that could help breeders produce elongated grapes without waiting years to see the actual fruit on the vine.

Classifying fruit as elongated or other shapes can be challenging, as visual observations can be highly subjective and ratings often variable among observers.

Recently, a digital method for analyzing shapes has been used for tomatoes, but this method requires each fruit to be cut in half and scanned to take the measurements, making the fruit unusable for additional studies or for eating.

Another digital analysis method, called SigmaScan®, is in use at the University of Arkansas' turfgrass science program. SigmaScan® selects colors within a given range of a photograph to analyze turf quality mechanically, eliminating human error.

The university's fruit breeding program borrowed this technology for a study of grape shapes led by Clark and graduate student Andrew P. Wycislo. The study, published in the American Society for Horticultural Science journal HortScience, began with digital photos of grapes developed specifically for the project. The seedlings exhibited wide variation of shape—from round to very elongated. Using a special application of the SigmaScan® technology that measures the area of the grape by differentiating it from the background color, calculations were made about the shape of each grape. Every grape was also manually rated based on elongation.

"Visual inspection supported the SigmaScan® analysis," reported the researchers.

The grapes used for the study were frozen at the time of harvest and did not need to be thawed or cut to be photographed. Ten grapes were photographed at one time, but more grapes could be shot and studied in a single photo in the future to further the speed of study. In this way, SigmaScan® improves efficiency, and because the fruit is still intact, it can also be used for additional studies or consumption.

This method has potential for future breeders by helping them to select grapes based on degree of elongation, and can also be applied to studies of other fruits. Although none of the elongated grapes have been released for public use as yet, it is hoped that in the future these new and unique grapes will be an addition to the expanding fresh fruit profile for American consumers.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Society for Horticultural Science. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Society for Horticultural Science. "Breeding Elongated Grapes." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 17 February 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/02/090217125542.htm>.
American Society for Horticultural Science. (2009, February 17). Breeding Elongated Grapes. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/02/090217125542.htm
American Society for Horticultural Science. "Breeding Elongated Grapes." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/02/090217125542.htm (accessed July 31, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Visitors Feel Part of the Pack at Wolf Preserve

Visitors Feel Part of the Pack at Wolf Preserve

AP (July 31, 2014) — Seacrest Wolf Preserve on the northern Florida panhandle allows more than 10,000 visitors each year to get up close and personal with Arctic and British Columbian Wolves. (July 31) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers

Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers

AP (July 31, 2014) — With Florida's panther population rebounding, some ranchers complain the protected predators are once again killing their calves. (July 31) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida

Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida

AP (July 31, 2014) — Sarasota County, Florida health officials have issued a warning against eating raw oysters and exposing open wounds to coastal and inland waters after a dangerous bacteria killed one person and made another sick. (July 31) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle

Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle

AP (July 30, 2014) — Thousands of people are trekking to a Bavarian farmer's field to check out a mysterious set of crop circles. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

    Environment News

    Technology News



      Save/Print:
      Share:  

      Free Subscriptions


      Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

      Get Social & Mobile


      Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

      Have Feedback?


      Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
      Mobile iPhone Android Web
      Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
      Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
      Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins