Further Investigations on the Genetics of Resistance to Iron Deficiency in Cowpea

in HortScience

Iron Deficiency Chlorosis (FeDC) is a problem in cowpea because it affects the ability of the plant to produce chlorophyll. Earlier studies indicated that FeDC was conditioned by a single gene. Pinkeye Purple Hull (PEPH), a susceptible variety, and Texas Pinkeye Purple Hull (TXPE), a resistant variety, were crossed and allowed to self for one generation. The F1s were backcrossed to the parents. SPAD readings were taken on each population. SPAD measures the transmission of light through the leaves at a wavelength where chlorophyll absorbs and a wavelength where it does not. The SPAD reading is calculated based on a ratio of these two numbers. Thus, the SPAD value is unitless and is an indication of the relative amount of chlorophyll present in the leaf. Chlorophyll was extracted from leaves, and regressed on the SPAD readings from the same leaves. An R2 of .9102 was obtained as well as a regression equation of y = 12.8x + 54.5. Thus, a SPAD value of 1 corresponds with a chlorophyll content of ≈67.3 μg chlorophyll/gfw. The data was analyzed using a bootstrap method, and indicated that FeDC is not controlled by a single gene. A P-value of .0004 showed a highly significant difference between the expected and observed segregation ratios in the F2 plants. Narrow sense heritibility (Mather) was estimated at 0.3.

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