Molecular and physiological analysis of undesirable discolorations in witloof chicory
Unwanted discolorations of chicory heads, such as the reddening and browning of both the leaves and the pith, lead to severe quality losses. In this research project we will study the underlying processes that govern the development of this physiological disorder during forcing, using molecular and biochemical techniques. To this purpose, we will use the genetic diversity of our unique chicory seed database, a collection compiled by KU Leuven in collaboration with Praktijkpunt Vlaams-Branbant and chicory growers. Thus, we will improve our understanding of the processes that cause these discolorations, which will allow us to provide chicory growers with targeted strategies to enhance the quality of their product.