Genes for Retention of Green Fruit Color through Maturity of Acorn Squash

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  • 1 Dept. of Vegetable Crops, Agricultural Research Organization, Newe Ya'ar Research Center, P.O. Haifa 31-900, Israel

Most cultivars of acorn squash (Cucurbita pepo), such as `Table Queen', have fruit that are light green when young, become dark green by intermediate age, and remain dark green through maturity, carrying genotype D/D l-l/l-1 L-2/L-2. Many other forms of C. pepo that carry this genotype, the most familiar being the Halloween and pie pumpkins, turn orange at maturity. The genetic basis for green color retention of acorn squash was investigated by crossing `Table Queen' with `Vegetable Spaghetti', `Fordhook Zucchini', and accession 85k-9-107-2 (the parental, filial, backcross, and testcross generation progenies being grown out in the field and observed and scored for fruit color at maturity, between 40 and 44 days past anthesis). The results indicated that the three stocks crossed with `Table Queen' carry two recessive genes, designated mature orange-1 (mo-1) and mature orange-2 (mo-2), which act in concert to result in complete loss of green color before maturity in 1-1/1-1 plants. `Table Queen' is Mo-l/Mo-1 Mo-2∼o-2. Genes D and mo-2 are linked, ≈15 map units apart.

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