Inheritance of Prostrate Growth Habit in Tomato

in Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science
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  • 1 Department of Horticultural Science, Box 7609, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27695-7609

Prostrate growth habit (PGH) in tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.) lines derived from breeding material developed at the Agriculture Canada Research Station, Beaverlodge, Alberta, was the subject of a quantitative inheritance study. Plants with PGH have an increased lateral branch angle, relative to upright plants, and crown-set fruit supported above the soil surface making hand harvest easier. Genetic parameters were estimated in two families (20G and 53G), each containing PGH and upright-habit parental lines, F1, F2, and backcrosses to each parent. Field-grown plants were subjectively rated twice during the growing season. Broad-sense heritability of PGH in family 20G was estimated to be 0.65 and 0.71 for ratings of plant growth habit 6 and 9 weeks after transplanting, respectively, and 0.71 and 0.68 for those of family 53G. Narrow-sense heritability was estimated to be 0.83 and 1.05 for the two ratings in the 20G family and 0.77 and 0.78 in the 53G family. F1 and F2 means were not different from mid-parent values. The genetic variance was entirely additive and expression was influenced by the environment. The data did not support the hypothesis that PGH was controlled by a single gene.

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