The relationship between malate dehydrogenase (MDH) genotype and plant vigor in peach [Prunus persica (L.) Batsch] was examined in two F2 populations (selfed `Belle of Georgia' and `Cresthaven') segregating at the Mdhl locus. Total numbers of progeny examined were 1610 and 998 in the `Belle of Georgia' and `Cresthaven' populations, respectively. In both populations, plant vigor (as defined by total height and trunk caliper after 1 year of growth) was significantly less in homozygous F/F (Mdh1-1/Mdh1-1) individuals. Homozygous S/S (Mdh1-2/Mdh1-2) individuals showed the greatest vigor, and were significantly different in vigor from homozygous F/F (Mdh1-1/Mdh1-1) individuals in both populations and from heterozygous F/S (Mdh1-1/Mdh1-2) individuals in the `Belle of Georgia' population. A significant deviation from the expected 1 F/F:2 F/S:1 S/S ratio was observed in the `Belle of Georgia' population, suggesting moderate lethality of homozygous F/F genotypes.
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