Genotypic Variation in and Environmental Variance Components of Sugar Composition in Japanese Pear Fruit

in HortScience

Genotypic variations in and environmental variance components of the total sugar content (TSC) and sugar composition, including sucrose (SUC), fructose (FRU), glucose (GLU), and sorbitol (SOR), in the fruit juice of 13 Japanese pear cultivars were analyzed. The TSC of ‘Kanta’ and TSC of ‘Hoshiakari’ were high (both >14.5 g/100 mL). The contents of SUC and FRU were higher than those of the other sugars. The SUC contents were ranked as follows: ‘Gold Nijisseiki’, 7.3 g/100 mL; ‘Shuurei’, 6.2 g/100 mL; and ‘Akizuki’, 6.1 g/100 mL. The FRU content in ‘Kanta’ was the highest among all monomeric sugars evaluated (6.8 g/100 mL). These results suggest that ‘Kanta’ is superior in terms of both TSC and sugar composition, which determine sweetness. The yearly environmental variance components were negligible for all traits. The genotype × year ranged from 4.4% to 13.7% of the total variance. Within-tree variance was 17.1% for TSC, whereas that for the sugar composition ranged from 1.4% to 6.1%. The tree × year ranged from 2.7% to 7.4%. Variance among fruits within trees was the largest environmental variance component—except for FRU—and ranged from 8.8% to 35.6%. Broad-sense heritability (hB2) values based on single tree, single year, and single fruit measurements were 0.33, 0.64, 0.69, 0.71, and 0.76 for TSC, SUC, FRU, GLU, and SOR, respectively. These results suggest that it would be easier to estimate genetic differences in sugar components with a higher level of precision than those in TSC. Increasing the fruit number up to five, in combination with yearly repetition increased to two (without tree repetition), significantly increased the hB2 of all traits undergoing study. The information obtained during this study will be useful for improving the accuracy of phenotypic selection and future genomic-based breeding studies performed to improve the sweetness of Japanese pear fruits.

Contributor Notes

We thank Dr. Takeshi Hayashi, Leader of the Breeding Informatics Research Unit, Institute of Crop Science, NARO, for his help discussing the results of this study.

Corresponding author. E-mail: saito@affrc.go.jp.

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    Effects of the number of fruits per tree, tree replication, and yearly repetition on the broad sense heritability (hB2) of total sugar content and sugar composition. ○ = 1 tree and 1 year; □ = 1 tree and 2 years; • = 2 trees and 1 year.

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