A new leaf mutant, fused-vein, is described in Cucurbita pepo L. for use as a plant gene marker. Morphologically, the fused-vein trait is characterized by a partial fusion of the lateral leaf veins to the main central vein. Fusion begins at the distal point of the petiole and extends for 5 to 10 cm into the leaf blade, thereby delaying branching of the leaf veins and causing the dorsal leaf surface to appear puckered. The trait is expressed beginning at the fourth to sixth leaf stage and throughout vegetative growth. Preliminary inheritance data suggests a two gene, double recessive model. Data on segregation of the fused-vein trait in reciprocal F2 and backcross progenies will be obtained during the summer of 1990. This trait has been incorporated into hull-less seeded lines for use as a marker to identify rogue genotypes. Comparison of F5 sister lines with and without the fused-vein trait indicated that the trait does not affect fruit or seed yields.
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