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Seminar: Modesta Abugu: Genetic Analysis of Volatiles and Flavor in Sweetpotato
December 5 | 9:00 am - 10:00 am
Date: Monday, December 5, 2022
Speaker: Modesta Abugu, PhD Introduction Seminar
Title: Genetic Analysis of Volatiles and Flavor in Sweetpotato
Host: Dr. Craig Yencho
Location (Hybrid): 121 Kilgore Hall
Zoom link: https://ncsu.zoom.us/j/91210415882?pwd=MXFBSDQ0cytTZW5SL2VLdUJGNDhtZz09
Meeting ID: 912 1041 5882
The growing consumer demand for sweetpotato (SP) in the US has made flavor an important breeding target. Current knowledge suggests that SP flavor is derived from the interaction of sugars and volatile organic compounds (VOCs). In raw storage roots, sucrose, glucose and fructose are the dominant sugars, while maltose is the dominant sugar in baked roots. Seven VOCs (phenylacetaldehyde, methyl geranate, 2-acetyl furan, 2-pentyl furan, 2-acetyl pyrrole, geraniol and β-ionone) are known to be the most potent odorants in baked, orange-fleshed SP. Despite this information on the flavor constituents of SP, little is known about the genetic control of flavor development and how compositional differences relate to consumer preferences. This study seeks to identify the compounds responsible for consumer preferred flavors in cooked sweetpotatoes. SP genotypes (n=450) in a DC (DM04-0001 x Covington) mapping population segregating for a wide range of flavor and texture traits were field-grown in Summer 2022 and harvested in November. These ~400 genotypes will be cooked and evaluated for sugar contents using high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) and volatile compound profiles using two-dimensional gas chromatography (GC×GC)-time of flight mass spectroscopy (ToFMS). Samples that represent the range of compositional characteristics will be selected and analyzed to establish the relationship between chemical components and sensory attributes. The compounds associated with desired sensory attributes will be used for quantitative trait loci (QTL) mapping to identify the genetic factors influencing those traits. This will be the first time a QTL for volatile compounds and sensory traits will be identified in SP and would be beneficial for developing varieties that better meet consumer preferences.