Project properties

Title Literature study on dormancy release in onion (Allium cepa L.)
Group Plant Breeding, Laboratory of
Project type thesis
Credits 24
Supervisor(s) Antonino Crucitti
Examiner(s) Christian Bachem
Contact info A Crucitti (antonino.crucitti@wur.nl)
Begin date 2021/03/01
End date 2021/06/30
Description Onion is one of the most valuable horticultural crops worldwide. Onion is a biennial species that forms a bulb during the first year, which serves as overwintering structure. The shoot apical meristem of the bulb remains dormant for a while and gives rise to sprout formation and flowers in the second year.

Early breaking of dormancy is a main issue in onion shelf life and storability. Onion prolonged dormancy depends on many factors such as pre and post-harvest specific environmental conditions, with a considerable effect of the genotype.

To prevent this undesirable trait, farmers mainly use chemicals, specifically a plant regulator called maleic hydrazide (MH). Due to an increasingly demand for sustainable agriculture, a genetic solution is urgently required to improve storability of onion bulbs. However, the genetic regulation of dormancy in onion is basically unknown.

Fortunately, detailed studies on dormancy genetic regulation have been performed in other plant species. Potential leads to investigate the genetic regulation of this process in onion can be obtained from species such as potato, tulip, populus and Arabidopsis.

The student will read the most relevant literature on post-harvest storability in onion and dormancy regulation in reference plant systems. The student will also write a comprehensive review on the current knowledge on the release of dormancy in onion.
Used skills Literature research, scientific writing.
Requirements BSc in plant science or equivalent