A fasciated flower stem character arose spontaneously during development of the red beet (Beta vulgaris L.) inbred line W411. The fasciated character is manifest by a flattened flower stem with petioles coalesced into a twisted, ribbonlike appearance. No fasciation is present in the vegetative stem or petioles. An inheritance study was conducted to determine the genetic control of flower stem fasciation. The inbred line W411 was used both as a male and female parent in crosses with four red beet inbred lines. Segregating progenies in both the BC1 and F2 generations were developed and scored for the fasciated flower stem character. Variable expression of the fasciated flower stem phenotype was observed in these progenies; however, the presence of flattened flower stems at the stem-hypocotyl junction was unequivocal. Chisquare goodness-of-fit tests in the BC1 and F2 generations did not deviate significantly from expected ratios for a monogenic recessive character for each genetic background. No reciprocal differences were detected for any cross in this group of four inbred lines, which suggests the lack of maternal effect for the fasciated character. The symbol ffs is proposed to describe the genetic control of the fasciated flower stem phenotype.
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