Recent publications from our lab

  • Luby, C.H., J.C. Dawson, andL. Goldman. 2016. Assessment and accessibility of phenotypic and genotypic diversity of carrot (Daucus carota L. var. sativus) cultivars commercially available in the United States. PLOS One, 11(12): e0167865. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0167865
  • Luby, C.H., J.R. Kloppenburg, and I.L. Goldman. 2016. Open source plant breeding and the Open Source Seed Initiative. Plant Breeding Reviews, 40:271-298.
  • Luby, C.H.,and I.L. Goldman. 2016. Improving freedom to operate in carrot breeding through the development of eight open source composite populations of carrot (Daucus carota  var. sativus). Sustainability  8(5), 479; doi:10.3390/su8050479
  • Luby, C.H., and I.L. Goldman. 2016. Freeing Crop Genetics through the Open Source Seed Initiative.PLOS Biology, 14(4): e1002441. doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.1002441.
  • Luby, C.H., and I.L. Goldman. 2016. Release of eight open source carrot (Daucus carota var. sativa) composite populations developed under organic conditions. HortScience, 51:448-450.
  • Baranski, R., Goldman, I., Nothnagel, T., Scott, J.W., 2016. Improving Color Sources by Plant Breeding and Cultivation. In: Carle, R., Schweiggert, R.M. (Eds.), Handbook on Natural Pigments in Food and Beverages: Industrial Applications for Improving Food Color. Woodhead Publishing, pp. 429–472.
  • Tanumihardjo S.A., Suri D., Simon P. and Goldman I.L., 2016. Vegetables of Temperate Climates: Carrot, Parsnip, and Beetroot. In: Caballero, B., Finglas, P., and Toldrá, F. (eds.) The Encyclopedia of Food and Health vol. 5, pp. 387-392. Oxford: Academic Press.
  • Minmin Wang, Samuel Lopez-Nieves, Irwin L. Goldman, and Hiroshi A. Maeda, 2017. Limited Tyrosine Utilization Explains Lower Betalain Contents in Yellow than in Red Table Beet Genotypes. Agric. Food Chem. 65: 4305–4313 DOI: 10.1021/acs.jafc.7b00810
  • Brad Barham, Irwin Goldman, Jordan van Rijn, Jeremy Foltz, and Maria Isabella Agnes. 2017. Land-Grant University Faculty Attitudes in and Engagement with Open Source Scholarship and Commercialization . Agricultural and Environmental Letters. doi:2134/ael2017.03.0008
  • Goldman, I.L. 2017. William Friedman, Geneticist turned cryptographer. Genetics.
  • Maher, L., and I.L. Goldman. 2017. Bi-Directional Recurrent Half Sib Family Selection for Geosmin Concentration in Table Beet (Beta vulgaris). Crop Science. In press.



Lynn Maher, 2013
Lynn at harvest time

Our research program is currently exploring several themes. We have devoted considerable effort over the years to work on secondary metabolites in carrot, onion, and table beet. We are now pursuing a study on volatiles that are associated with flavor, particularly the geosmins.  Geosmins deliver the earthy flavor to foods and are molecules produced by Streptomyces bacteria that live largely in the soil. Initial investigations suggest the genotypic specificity of geosmin concentration in table beet (work recently completed by Amy Freidig and published by Freidig and Goldman, 2014)  and presence of geosmin even under sterile culture conditions would be difficult to explain if microbial populations were the sole cause of this trait.

We have completed a project on assessing tocochromanol levels in carrot during crop production and postharvest storage, as well as during the reproductive life cycle of the plant. This work, conducted by Claire Luby and Hiroshi Maeda and published in Horticulture Research, shed light on the flux of these provitamin compounds in carrot and revealed that while levels increase dramatically during reproductive growth, the levels are in general too low to be nutritionally significant.

Chris D’Angelo has been working on studying vernalization and dormancy in onion, trying to understand the environmental conditions and genes that influence these two key developmental processes. Chris’s work has implications for onion breeding and for streamlining the onion life cycle.

Katharina Wigg has been working on breeding table beet for resistance to Rhizoctonia solani, an important disease in this crop. Katharina has developed a greenhouse screening technique and is backcrossing resistance into table beet germplasm.

Solveig Hanson is studying the genetic control of geosmin biosynthesis in table beet, including estimating genotype x environment interactions and mapping genes associated with this trait. She is also involved in a participatory plant breeding effort with Wisconsin farmers and consumers to improve flavor profiles in this crop.

Sovereign Carrot
‘Sovereign’ open source carrot

Finally, we have invested substantial effort in developing an open source seed model for varietal release. More information on our open source project can be found here. Corresponding to that outreach effort is a research project that investigates the proportion of key traits in carrot that are controlled by genes for which we have “freedom to operate” and the proportion that is legally restricted. Using maps of phenotypic variation superimposed on maps depicting germplasm restrictions, we are assembling populations of carrot that contain unrestricted genes, for use in breeding anywhere in the world that carrots grow. We hope to be able to release these populations through the open source framework so that they can have maximum utility for farmers, gardeners, and breeders.

Our breeding work and our research programs are intertwined. We are selecting and evaluating in both conventional and organic environments. We have long-standing partnerships with farmers who have helped support our breeding activities, with the network of Agriculture Research Stations in the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, and with scientists at seed companies. These partnerships are critical to the continuation of our breeding and research programs.

Our program is a member of the Vegetable Breeding Institute, a public-private partnership fostering interaction between public breeders and vegetable seed companies. For more information on the Vegetable Breeding Institute, follow this link. Our breeding programs, particularly graduate student support for plant breeding in organic systems, have also been supported by Seed MattersCeres Trust, and NC-SARE.