The Nordeste citrus industry is mainly dedicated to the fresh-fruit market and there is a tendency for small citrus fruit production increment (Neves et al., 2010), particularly for high quality and easy-peeler mandarin and clementine fruits. Moreover, even if a large range of diversity exists among mandarins and clementines (Barkley et al., 2006; Ollitrault et al., 2012), the commercial varietal range of these small fruits is still very limited in Brazil. One of the difficulties is that the mandarin and clementine quality is highly dependent from genotype and environmental conditions; in tropical conditions, fruits will be less colored and more acidic. On the other hand, most of the breeding programs to improve citrus quality are developed in the Mediterranean (Italy, Spain, France and Morocco); little work is done on citrus breeding in the tropical and subtropical regions. This project proposes to develop an interactive international network to analyse the small citrus fruit quality, using OMICs (e.g. transcriptomics, proteomics) and biotechnological approaches, focusing on the interaction genotype-environment. For this purpose, we plan to analyse mandarin and clementine genotypes common on germplams of two countries presenting climatic contrasts: Nordeste of Brazil (tropical) and Spain (temperate Mediterranean). Different strategies to analyse the quality will be used: i) analysis of fruit and juice colour, fruit and skin size, juice percent; ii) determination of total soluble solids and titrable acidity, carotenoid contents, etc.; iii) analysis of the biosynthetic pathway of the metabolites involved in quality at transcriptional and translational l
... evels. In conclusion, this proposal has the final objective to develop strong OMIC insights in the elaboration of quality under tropical area to optimize breeding programs to obtain colored fruits with high sugar and low acid contents, which enjoy the consumer demand and encourage sustainable economic and social development in tropical areas. To complete this objective, we count on the support of the competences, expertise, known-how and international relationships of the Dr. Patrick Ollitrault, from Cirad (Centre de Cooperation Internationale en Recherche Agronomique pour le Développement, France). The Dr. Ollitrault is internationally known for his work on citrus (more than 40 articles and book chapters published in the last 5 years, all in high impact factors journals) and has a large interaction network with other citrus research groups, in particular with the Instituto Valenciano de Investigaciones Agrarias (IVIA, Spain) where the Dr. Ollitrault is located (agreement Cirad ? IVIA), the INRA (France) and its station located in Corsica, the CNR (Italy), and the Domaines Abbes Kabbages (private partner from Morocco). This project will be developed between Brazil, France and Spain, for plant material supply, physiological and biochemical analyses and for OMICs experiments. The co-advised Ph.D. student will actuate mainly in the Brazilian and Spanish institutions.