Our long-term goal is to develop flavorful cultivars that drive increased consumer demand for blackberries. The primary objective of this proposal is to optimize methods (marker assisted selection, genomic selection, metabolomic selection) for predicting consumer preference in the UA fruit breeding program in order to reduce breeding cycle time and expedite the process of combining flavor with other desirable traits. We hypothesize that sweetness, acidity, and a few key volatiles all play important roles in consumer preference and that selections with optimal flavor can be fast-tracked for parent use and advanced testing using metabolomic signatures and genomic data. The specific objectives of our proposal are:Objective 1: Assess the impact of volatile and nonvolatile factors and the influence of genotype and environment on flavor and consumer preference in blackberry. We will measure basic composition, acids, sugars, and volatiles and conduct consumer sensory evaluations of a large panel of fresh-market blackberry genotypes to determine the most important drivers of consumer preference for blackberry flavor and measure the percent variance of consumer sensory and biochemical attributes explained by genetic and environmental components and their interaction.Objective 2: Conduct genome-wide association mapping of organic acids, sugars, and volatile compounds in blackberry selections from the UA breeding program. We will phenotype and genotype a panel of 245 fresh-market blackberry selections and conduct GWAS to find marker-trait associations for key breeding targets associated with consumer preference in blackberry that were identified in objective 1.Objective 3: Compare genomic and metabolomic selection models for predicting flavor and consumer preference in blackberry. We will use the phenotypic and genetic data generated in Objectives 1 and 2 to develop and compare genomic, metabolomic, and combined selection models for flavor and consumer preference.