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Breeding and biotechnology for improving the nutritional quality of strawberry


Traditional breeding is based on the identification of the most suitable genetic resources from either cultivated or wild germplasm. Starting from wild germplasm, progeny from strawberry crosses with F. virginiana glauca as a common parent have shown significant increases in fruit quality and nutritional features. This confirms the use of the wild species to improve several characteristics of cultivated strawberry. However, commercial cultivars of F. × ananassa already perform well, due to the combination of important agronomic traits with improved fruit nutritional quality. A considerable number of molecular studies have targeted strawberry for gene cloning, genetic transformation, and fingerprinting and mapping for important agronomic traits, such as plant habitus, disease resistance, and fruit nutritional quality. Meanwhile, the completion of the diploid strawberry genome sequence promises to accelerate candidate-gene approaches for marker discovery. In addition, these achievements are expanding the potential applications of DNA recombinant technology for the transfer and validation of target genes that control important traits, including fruit nutritional quality. The major limitation of such genetically modified organism technology in strawberry is the lack of public acceptance. To overcome this problem, particular attention needs to be given to the safety issues through all of the steps in the preparation and evaluation of these genetically modified organisms.