Evidence for Qualitative Suppression of Red Skin Color in Peach

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  • 1 United States Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Southeastern Fruit and Tree Nut Research Laboratory, Byron, GA 31008
  • 2 Programe de Fruticultura, Colegio de Postgraduados, Montecillo, Mexico 56230
  • 3 Horticultural Science Department, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611
  • 4 Department of Horticultural Science, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27695

Recently observed hybrid populations of peach [Prunus persica (L.) Batsch] provide evidence for the presence of a single gene suppressing red skin color. The fruit of seedling populations of FL90-48C and FL90-37C × FL84-18C, FL90-50CN × FL92-2C, FL90-48C × FL91-12, FL91-8 × FL88-6, and open-pollinated or selfed populations from unselected seedlings of `Contender' × PI65977 (`Giallo di Padova') and `Mexico Selection' × `Oro A' were rated for normal quantitative vs. no anthocyanin skin color at maturity. At this stage of development, anthocyaninless phenotypes displayed no red color over the entire surface of the fruit. Instead they were characterized by a bright yellow ground color that stood out visually in the seedling rows, and which was dubbed highlighter. The two crosses with FL84-18C yielded populations that approximated a 1:1 segregation ratio for quantitative red:no red skin color. All other crosses produced populations that closely approximated a 3:1 segregation ratio for quantitative red to no red. These data are consistent with the hypothesis that the highlighter phenotype is a single gene recessive trait. We propose the gene symbols of h and H for the recessive no red (highlighter) and dominant normal quantitative red (wild-type) alleles, respectively.

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