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Dernière mise à jour : Mai 2018

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Knowledge and valorization of carrot genetic diversity

Population of Daucus commutatus in Corsica
© EG
The work on genetic resources aims to better understand the structure of diversity, to characterize resources notably for quality traits in a purpose of valorization, and to improve the management of the national collection of carrot genetic resources.

Based on genetic analyses on neutral microsatellite markers but also on nucleotide polymorphism of carotenoid biosynthetic pathway genes, we demonstrated that diversity of the cultivated compartment presents a moderate but significant geographic structure between Western and Eastern carrots and that a particular group in Central Europe would be at the origin of this structure. The recurrent requests from professionals led us to characterize genetic resources for nutritional and organoleptic quality, in close collaboration with Ctifl. While showing a significant effect of genetic diversity, the results led to the construction of carrot sensorial map.  

For a better management of botanical collections, conservatories and use of genetic resources in carrot plant breeding, we more recently emphasized on the wild compartment that was particularly misunderstood. With the collaboration of National Botanical Conservatories and Via Apia botanical expertise we identified ten taxa on the French territory. Our genetic studies show that the wild diversity is high, particularly on the Mediterranean coast, and structured more on a geographical basis than on a taxonomic basis, either on the mainland or Corsica. New sources of resistance to diseases were identified in wild populations, particularly within two taxa. Further research is in progress for deeper exploration of these wild resources.

The knowledge and valorization of genetic resources is critical for further improvement of the cultivated carrot for product quality and disease resistance in a sustainable perspective.

Structuration de la diversité génétique chez la carotte cultivée (Clotault et al., 2010. TAG)

Structuration of carrot genetic diversity (Clotault et al., 2010-TAG)