14 June 2024
Lettuce Pink Rib Tolerance in Humid Subtropical Climates Assessed

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In the United States, lettuce production is a significant industry, with California, Arizona, and Florida leading the market, contributing to a $2.7 billion value. Florida, responsible for about 3% of the nation’s lettuce, mostly cultivates the crop in the Everglades Agricultural Area—a humid subtropical zone. Lettuce from this region is particularly valued for its availability during the winter and spring. Recent studies have focused on evaluating the tolerance of various lettuce germplasm to pink rib disorder in these humid subtropical conditions.

Study Evaluates Pink Rib Disorder Tolerance in Lettuce Germplasm in Humid Subtropical Environments



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Lettuce is a popular vegetable that is grown in various regions of the United States, including California, Arizona, and Florida. In fact, Florida produces about 3% of the total lettuce in the country. One of the reasons why Florida-grown lettuce is in high demand is because it is harvested during the winter and spring months.

However, lettuce is not without its challenges. One of the factors that limits its shelf life is the development of physiological disorders, such as russet spotting, brown stain, and pink rib or pinking. These disorders can affect the quality and appearance of the lettuce, making it less desirable for consumers.

The Impact of Humid Subtropical Climates

In this new study published in the Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science, researchers aimed to understand how lettuce grown in humid subtropical climates, like the Everglades Agricultural Area in southern Florida, is affected by pink rib disorder. They planted different lettuce accessions for early season, mid-season, and late-season harvests over two winter/spring seasons in Belle Glade, FL.

To induce pink rib disorder, the researchers wounded the harvested midribs and stored them under simulated commercial conditions for 6 to 9 days. They then rated the severity of pink rib using a 5-point subjective scale. By evaluating the genotype × environment interactions, they were able to identify the environmental factors that contribute to the development of pink rib during storage and between planting seasons.

Identifying Less Susceptible Lettuce Accessions

The researchers found that some lettuce accessions were less susceptible to pink rib severity, even in humid subtropical climates. This is an important finding because it suggests that there is genetic variation in lettuce that can help mitigate the development of pink rib disorder.

Among the tested accessions, the cultivars Cordoba and Galactic showed less pink rib severity across all types of lettuce. However, within each type, there were specific accessions that had even lower pink rib severity. For example, Hialeah and Holbrook in romaine, H1098 in crisphead, B1190 in butterhead, and 45060 in Latin types showed less pink rib severity.

Implications for Breeding and Genetics Studies

The identification of accessions with lower susceptibility to pink rib disorder is a significant step towards finding long-term solutions to this issue. By combining these accessions with other desirable quality and horticultural characteristics, researchers can develop new cultivars that are more resistant to pink rib.

This study highlights the importance of genetics studies and breeding programs in addressing the challenges faced by lettuce growers. By focusing on reducing pink rib severity, researchers can contribute to the development of lettuce varieties that have a longer shelf life and better overall quality.

In conclusion, this study provides valuable insights into the tolerance of lettuce germplasm to pink rib disorder in humid subtropical environments. It opens up new possibilities for breeding and genetics studies that can help improve the quality and marketability of lettuce in these regions.

FAQs

1. What is pink rib disorder in lettuce?

Pink rib disorder is a physiological disorder that affects the quality and appearance of lettuce, making it less desirable for consumers. It is characterized by the development of pink rib or pinking on the lettuce leaves.

2. Where is this study conducted?

This study was conducted in the Everglades Agricultural Area in southern Florida, which has a humid subtropical climate.

3. Which lettuce accessions are less susceptible to pink rib disorder?

Among the tested accessions, the cultivars Cordoba and Galactic showed less pink rib severity across all types of lettuce. However, within each type, there were specific accessions that had even lower pink rib severity.

4. Why is it important to identify less susceptible lettuce accessions?

Identifying less susceptible lettuce accessions is important because it suggests that there is genetic variation in lettuce that can help mitigate the development of pink rib disorder. This can lead to the development of new cultivars that are more resistant to pink rib.

5. How can this study benefit lettuce growers?

This study provides valuable insights into the tolerance of lettuce germplasm to pink rib disorder in humid subtropical environments. It highlights the importance of genetics studies and breeding programs in addressing the challenges faced by lettuce growers. By developing new cultivars with lower pink rib severity, lettuce growers can improve the quality and marketability of their produce.

Links to additional Resources:

USDA Agricultural Research Service USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service University of Florida IFAS Extension

Related Wikipedia Articles

Topics: Lettuce production, Pink rib disorder in lettuce, Everglades Agricultural Area

Lettuce
Lettuce (Lactuca sativa) is an annual plant of the family Asteraceae. It is most often grown as a leaf vegetable, but sometimes for its stem and seeds. Lettuce is most often used for salads, although it is also seen in other kinds of food, such as soups, sandwiches and wraps;...
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Warfarin
Warfarin is an anticoagulant used as a medication under several brand names including Coumadin. While the drug is described as a "blood thinner", it does not reduce viscosity but rather inhibits coagulation. Accordingly, it is commonly used to prevent blood clots in the circulatory system such as deep vein thrombosis...
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Everglades Agricultural Area
The Everglades Agricultural Area Environmental Protection District (EAA EPD), better known as simply the Everglades Agricultural Area (EAA), is an area extending south from Lake Okeechobee to the northern levee of Water Conservation Area 3A, from its eastern boundary at the L-8 canal to the western boundary along the L-1,...
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