Hazelnut breeding

PI: Shawn Mehlenbacher, Professor, Hazelnut Breeding and Genetics

Research

Plant Breeding: Develop new cultivars for Oregon's hazelnut industry, with emphasis on resistance to eastern filbert blight (EFB) and suitability for the kernel market. Practice marker-assisted selection using robust DNA markers linked to the dominant resistance allele from 'Gasaway'. Improve breeding methods and efficiency. Collect hazelnut germplasm from around the world, evaluate, and use interesting accessions as parents in breeding. Cooperate with Rutgers University, the University of Nebraska at Lincoln, and the National Arbor Day Foundation to develop interspecific hazelnut hybrids (Corylus americana x C. avellana) adapted to eastern North America.

Plant Genetics. Identify additional sources of resistance to eastern filbert blight, study genetic control, and identify or develop DNA markers linked to the new sources of resistance. Develop microsatellite markers and assign the loci to linkage groups. Use microsatellite markers to fingerprint accessions and study genetic variability in Corylus. Obtain information on the genetic control of traits. Identify the S-alleles that control pollen-stigma incompatibility in hazelnut cultivars and selections. Perform fine mapping and map-based cloning of the EFB resistance gene from 'Gasaway'. Perform fine mapping and map-based cloning of the incompatibility in hazelnut, and investigate its molecular basis. Cooperate with colleagues in sequencing the genome of 'Jefferson' hazelnut, and develop new polymorphic markers from microsatellites and single nucleotide polymorphisms in the sequence. Assist in sequencing additional hazelnut cultivars.

Research in a Nutshell Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zEjKkzM_ZMk&list=UUNoD2M7h_FvyUwlp5GFDeHw

Graduate Student Expectations

  1. Students must demonstrate a passion for plant breeding and show interest in all aspects of plant breeding. (i.e. field, lab, and greenhouse work)
  2. Meet department admission requirements.
  3. Quantitative GRE score ~70% or above.
  4. Work part time on own research and part time on other project.
  5. Learn the whole program and participate in every aspect of work.
  6. Inherit previous work, make a contribution, and pass along to next grad student.

Breeding Methods

  1. Typically seedling flowers after 5 years.
  2. 8 year seed to seed cycle.
  3. Marker-assisted selection methods using robust DNA markers linked to the dominant resistance allele from 'Gasaway’.
  4. Utilize new germplasm from hazelnuts collected around the world and evaluate novel hybrids.
  5. Evaluate interspecific hybrids of Corylus americana × Corylus avellana for adaptation to eastern North America.

Sponsors

  • Oregon State University Agricultural Research Foundation
  • Oregon Hazelnut Commission
  • State of Oregon
  • Hatch Act
  • USDA Specialty Crops Research Initiative

Collaborators

  • Washington State University
  • Rutgers University
  • University of Nebraska at Lincoln
  • University of Missouri
  • National Arbor Day Foundation
  • Donald Danforth Plant Science Center
  • USDA-ARS National Clonal Germplasm Repository

Graduate Student Projects

Current projects 

  1. Golnaz Komaei (Ph.D.) Research project will include inheritance of EFB resistance from new sources, and integration of physical linkage maps in hazelnut.
  2. Gehendra Bhattarai (M.S.) Development of 360 polymorphic SSR markers from genomic sequences, and inheritance of eastern filbert blight resistance from nine new sources of hazelnut.

Botany

Hazelnut is categorized in the Corylus genus; there are 15 species in the genus, but Corylus avellana is the species of commercial importance. The plant is a large shrub native to the Nothern Hemisphere, but when managed as they are in orchard situations, they grow like trees. Hazelnuts are distinctive from other orchard crops because they are monoecious, anemophilous (wind pollinated), and bloom in midwinter (December to March in the Northern Hemisphere). Each catkin produces between 4 million to 40 million pollen grains, however, plants generally demonstate sporophytic incompatibility. The staminate and pistiallate flowering times may not overlap, and cultivars can be either protogynous or protandrous. Therefore cross-pollination with compatible pollininers that shed pollen when female flowers are receptive is required for optimal nut production.  

Publications

Research and Extension

Dr. Mehlenbacher regularly gives presentations to Oregon's hazelnut growers at the annual meeting and summer tour of the Nut Growers Society of Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia. He reports research results to the Oregon Hazelnut Commission. The Arbor Day Foundation takes the lead in outreach by the Hybrid Hazelnut Consortium  (http://www.arborday.org/programs/hazelnuts/consortium/).

Dr. Mehlenbacher has no formal Extension appointment, but with the passing of Jeff Olsen and expansion of hazelnut plantings in the valley, he and his two research assistants have been receiving an increased number of questions. In 2014 he hosted the annual meeting of the Northern Nut Growers Society in Corvallis and was elected to its Board of Governors.

Economic Importance

  1. Oregon is the center of hazelnut production in the United States. Oregon represents 99% of the of hazelnut production in the US, and 3-5% of the worldwide.  Currently, the industry is has a net income of $44 million/year and covers 28,400 acres with about 3,000 new acres being planted each year.
  2. The United States produces about 7% of the world’s hazelnuts.
  3. Approximately 850,000 metric tons are produced annually throughout the world

Publications since 2005

Sathuvalli, V.R., S.A. Mehlenbacher. 2015. Genes expressed following compatible and incompatible pollinations in hazelnut (in preparation).

Sathuvalli, V.R., S.A. Mehlenbacher and T.C. Mockler. 2015. Annotation of whole BAC sequences in the eastern filbert blight resistance region from 'Jefferson' hazelnut (Corylus avellana L.). (in preparation).

Colburn, B.C., S.A. Mehlenbacher and V.R. Sathuvalli.  2015.  Development and mapping of microsatellite markers from hazelnut transcriptome sequences.  Molecular Breeding (in preparation). 

Colburn, B.C., S.A. Mehlenbacher, V.R. Sathuvalli and D.C. Smith.  2015.  Novel sources of eastern filbert blight resistance in hazelnut accessions 'Culpla', 'Crvenje' and OSU 495.072.  HortScience 49 (in press). 

Sathuvalli, V.R. and S.A. Mehlenbacher.  2015.  High resolution genetic and physical mapping of the eastern filbert blight resistance region in ‘Jefferson’ hazelnut (Corylus avellana L.).  (in preparation). 

Ives, C., V.R. Sathuvalli, B.C. Colburn and S.A. Mehlenbacher.  2014.  Mapping the incompatibility and style color loci in two hazelnut progenies.  HortScience 49:250-253. 

Mehlenbacher, S.A.  2014.  Geographic distribution of incompatibility alleles in cultivars and selections of European hazelnut.  J. Amer. Soc. Hort. Sci. 139:191-212.  

Mehlenbacher, S.A., D.C. Smith and R.L. McCluskey.  2014.  'Wepster' hazelnut.  HortScience 49:346-349.   

Mehlenbacher, S.A., D.C. Smith and R.L. McCluskey.  2013.  'Dorris' hazelnut.  HortScience 48:796-799.

Molnar, T.J, E. Walsh, J.M Capik, V. Sathuvalli, S.A. Mehlenbacher, A.Y. Rossman and N. Zhang.  2013.  A real-time PCR assay for early detection of eastern filbert blight.  Plant Disease 97:813-818. 

Sathuvalli, V.R. and S.A. Mehlenbacher.  2013.  De novo sequencing of hazelnut bacterial artificial chromosomes (BACs) using multiplex Illumina sequencing and targeted marker development for eastern filbert blight resistance.  Tree Genetics and Genomes (DOI 10.1007/s11295-013-0626-8) 

Rowley, E.R., S.E. Fox, D.W. Bryant, C.M. Sullivan, H.D. Priest, S.A. Givan, S.A. Mehlenbacher and T.C. Mockler.  2012.  Assembly and characterization of the European hazelnut 'Jefferson' transcriptome.  Crop Sci. 52:2679-2686. 

Bassil N., Boccacci P., Botta R., Postman J. and Mehlenbacher S.  2012.  Nuclear and chloroplast microsatellite markers to assess genetic diversity and evolution in hazelnut species, hybrids and cultivars.  Genetic Resources and Crop Evolution (on-line)  DOI 10.1007/s10722-012-9857-z 

Sathuvalli, V.R., S.A. Mehlenbacher and D.C. Smith.  2012.  Identification and mapping of DNA markers linked to eastern filbert blight resistance from OSU 408.040 hazelnut.  HortScience 47:570-573. 

Mehlenbacher, S.A., D.C. Smith and R. L. McCluskey.  2012.  'Eta' and 'Theta' hazelnut pollenizers.  HortScience 47:1180-1181. 

Sathuvalli, V.R. and S.A. Mehlenbacher.  2012.  Characterization of American hazelnut (Corylus americana) accessions and Corylus americana x Corylus avellana hybrids using microsatellite markers.  Genetic Resources and Crop Evolution 59:1055-1075.  DOI 10.1007/s10722-011-9743-0.

Chambers, U., V.M. Walton, and S.A. Mehlenbacher. 2011. Susceptibility of hazelnut cultivars to filbertworm, Cydia latiferreana. HortScience 46:1377-1380.

Sathuvalli, V. S.A. Mehlenbacher and D.C. Smith. 2011. DNA markers linked to eastern filbert blight resistance from a hazelnut selection from the Republic of Georgia. J. Amer. Soc. Hort. Sci. 136: 350 - 357.

Sathuvalli, V.R. and S.A. Mehlenbacher. 2011. A bacterial artificial chromosome library for ‘Jefferson’ hazelnut and identification of clones associated with eastern filbert blight resistance and pollen-stigma incompatibility. Genome DOI:10.1139/G11-048 .

Mehlenbacher, S.A., D.C. Smith and R.L. McCluskey. 2011. 'Jefferson' hazelnut. HortScience 46:662-664.

Mehlenbacher, S.A., D.C. Smith, R.L. McCluskey and M.M. Thompson. 2011. 'Tonda Pacifica' hazelnut. HortScience 46:505-508.

Mehlenbacher, S.A., D.C. Smith, and R.L. McCluskey. 2011. Hazelnut breeding at Oregon State University. Corylus & Co. (Rivista del Centro Studi e Ricerche sul Nocciolo e Castagno). No. 2, p. 6-15 (in English and Italian).

Sathuvalli, V.R., H.L. Chen, S.A. Mehlenbacher and D.C. Smith. 2010. DNA markers linked to eastern filbert blight resistance in 'Ratoli' hazelnut. Tree Genetics and Genomes 7:337-345. DOI: 10.1007/s11295-010-0335-5.

Sathuvalli, V. S.A. Mehlenbacher and D.C. Smith. 2010. Response of hazelnut accessions to greenhouse inoculation with Anisogramma anomala. HortScience 45:1116-1119.

Gürcan, K. and S.A. Mehlenbacher. 2010. Transferability of microsatellite markers in the Betulaceae. J. Amer. Soc. Hort. Sci. 135:159-173.

Gürcan, K. and S.A. Mehlenbacher. 2010. Development of microsatellite marker loci for European hazelnut (Corylus avellana L.) from ISSR fragments. Molecular Breeding 26:551–559. DOI 10.1007/s11032-010-9464-7

Gürcan, K., S.A. Mehlenbacher, R. Botta and P. Boccacci. 2010. Development, characterization, segregation, and mapping of microsatellite markers for European hazelnut (Corylus avellana L.) from enriched genomic libraries and usefulness in genetic diversity studies. Tree Genetics and Genomes 6:513-531. DOI: 10.1007/s11295-010-0269-y

Gürcan, K., S.A. Mehlenbacher and V. Erdogan. 2010. Genetic diversity in hazelnut cultivars from Black Sea countries assessed using SSR markers. Plant Breeding 129:422-434. DOI: 10.1111/j.1439-0523.2009.01753.x

Sathuvalli, V.R. and S.A. Mehlenbacher. 2010. Fine mapping of eastern filbert blight resistance in hazelnut with markers from BAC end sequences. ISHS Symposium on Molecular Markers in Horticulture, Corvallis, OR, July, 2009. Acta Hort. 859:395-400.

Mehlenbacher, S.A. and David C. Smith. 2009. 'Red Dragon' ornamental hazelnut. HortScience 44:843-844.

Mehlenbacher, S.A., D.C. Smith and R. McCluskey. 2009. 'Yamhill' hazelnut. HortScience 44:845-847.

Gökirmak, T., S.A. Mehlenbacher and N.V. Bassil. 2009. Characterization of European hazelnut (Corylus avellana) cultivars using SSR markers. Genetic Resources and Crop Evolution 56:147-172. (published online in 2008 as DOI 10.1007/s10722-008-9352-8).

Mehlenbacher, S. 2009. Genetic resources for hazelnut: state of the art and future perspectives. Acta Hort. 845:33-38.

Gürcan, K., S. Mehlenbacher and V. Cristofori. 2009. Inter-simple sequence repeat (ISSR) markers in hazelnut. Acta Hort. 845:159-162.

Mehlenbacher, S.A., D.C. Smith and R.L. McCluskey. 2008. 'Sacajawea' hazelnut. HortScience 43:255-257.

Mehlenbacher, S.A. 2008. Betulaceae – Corylus avellana – hazelnut. p. 161-172. In: Janick, J. and R.E. Paull (eds.). The encyclopedia of fruit and nuts. CAB International, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK.

Molnar, T.J., D.E. Zaurov, J.C. Goffreda and S.A. Mehlenbacher. 2007. Survey of hazelnut germplasm from Russia and Crimea for response to eastern filbert blight. HortScience 42:51-56.

Mehlenbacher, S.A., A. N. Azarenko, D. C. Smith, and R. L. McCluskey. 2007. 'Santiam' hazelnut. HortScience 42:715-717.

Chen, H., S.A. Mehlenbacher and D.C. Smith. 2007. Hazelnut accessions provide new sources of resistance to eastern filbert blight. HortScience 42:466-469.

Mehlenbacher, S.A. 2007. Hazelnut breeding – an update from Oregon. Nucis Newsletter (FAO-CIHEAM) 14:9-10. (Dec. 2007).

Lunde, C.F., S.A. Mehlenbacher and D.C. Smith. 2006. Segregation for resistance to eastern filbert blight in progeny of 'Zimmerman' hazelnut. J. Amer. Soc. Hort. Sci. 131:731-737.

Mehlenbacher, S.A. and D.C. Smith. 2006. Self-compatible seedlings of the cutleaf hazelnut. HortScience 41:482-483.

Mehlenbacher, S.A., R.N. Brown, E.R. Nouhra, T. Gokirmak, N.V. Bassil and T.L. Kubisiak. 2006. A genetic linkage map for hazelnut (Corylus avellana L.) based on RAPD and SSR markers. Genome 49:122-133.