Chromosome Homology in Tetraploid Southern Highbush × Vaccinium elliottii Hybrids

in HortScience
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  • 1 Horticultural Sciences Department, University of Florida, P.O. Box 110690, Gainesville, FL 32611

A yellow-leaf seedling marker, r, was used to determine if there was preferential chromosome pairing in a group of tetraploid southern highbush blueberry hybrids. Plants with four copies of r (no copies of R) fail to develop anthocyanins, and cotyledons, hypocotyls, leaves, stems, and other vegetative tissues have a bright yellow-green color. In the hybrids that were studied, two genomes were from the diploid wild species, V. elliottii Chapman, and both carried the recessive marker r. The other two genomes were from southern highbush cultivars and both carried the dominant wildtype allele, R. When RRrr hybrids were intercrossed or crossed to rrrr yellow-leaf plants, the number of yellowleaf rrrr seedlings obtained usually equalled or exceeded the number predicted from nonpreferential chromosome pairing. Since rr gametes can only be produced by RRrr plants when R and r chromosomes pair at Meiosis I, there was no evidence that the chromosomes derived from V. elliottii were pairing at a higher-than-random rate.