About this Research Topic
Minor temperate fruit tree species include species cultivated on limited geographical areas but with increasing interest as important source of nutrients for human consumption such as pomegranate, fig, quince, pecan, mulberry, carob, loquat, persimmon, etc. Commercial interest in such fruit tree species ranges from fresh to processed usage (juices, concentrates, ready-to-use, jams, beverages, etc.). Growing interest in minor species has recently driven new research towards breeding and genetics to address producer and consumer traits. Intensified cultivation of such species in different areas of the world, through the development of new varieties and improved traits (together with appropriate agronomic practices), could be an important healthy and cost-effective alternative contributing to nutritional security.
Minor temperate fruit tree species have suffered from little attention from scientific community, consequently receiving little improvement via conventional breeding, and lacking detailed genomic information on important traits. This lack of data, together with a general poor genetic knowledge of these species, has often limited a wider cultivation and returns for sustainable fruit production.
For these reasons, and in the eyes of a growing awareness of scientists, farmers and consumers, the present Research Topic will aim to collate recent advances on minor temperate fruit trees breeding, including genome sequencing, GWAS studies, MAS and GS strategies, metabolic gene patterns, hormonal regulation, metabolomic and transcriptomic analyses with the consequent effects on fruit growth, development and quality. This information would allow the discovery of new genes or useful germplasm for an innovative breeding of such species, and development of new varietal solutions to face the climate change and the adaptability in difficult micro-climatic conditions, together with increasing nutritional value and ensuring safe and healthy processed foods.
We invite submission of Original Research papers and Review articles from breeders, geneticists, eco-physiologists, horticulturists, and other researchers working on minor (underutilized) tree fruits on the following topics:
• Advances in scion and rootstock breeding methods and new releases.
• Advances in genome sequencing, map building and development of markers for traits of interest.
• Advances in mapping and cloning of QTLs, and MAS and GS strategies for valuable agronomic traits.
• Characterizing and exploiting the nutraceutical properties of minor fruits.
• Optimized in vitro culture protocols for germplasm conservation, explant regeneration, introduction of new genetic variability.
• Genetic transformation, clonal propagation, and rootstock development.
• Genetic resources for potential expansion of tree fruit varieties.
• Genetic control of physiological and disease resistance traits of minor fruit tree species.
Please note: that Original Research manuscripts with largely descriptive results are out of scope of Frontiers in Plant Science. Results that provide insights into physiological processes that address the above points are invited.
Keywords: Fruit trees, Innovation, Breeding techniques, Quality, Genetics
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.