The heritability of shortened fruit maturation (SFM) period in Cornell 871213-1, an inbred cherry tomato [Lycopersicon esculentum var. cerasiforme (Dunal.) A. Gray] line, was estimated from a greenhouse experiment. Cornell 871213-1 was crossed with the cherry tomato line NC 21C-1. Mean fruit maturation period (FMP) (days from anthesis to the breaker stage of fruit color) was 40.8 days for NC 21C-1 and 32.0 days for Cornell 871213-1. Parental, F1, F2, and backcross generations all differed in mean FMP and yielded, estimates of broad- and narrow-sense SFM heritabilities of 72% and 40%, respectively, on a single-plant basis. A test for midparent heterosis showed significance. Genetic control of SFM was quantitative in nature and highly dominant. A field study of an F2 population developed from the cross Cornell 871213-1 × NC 84173, the latter a large-fruited tomato line (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.), gave a mean FMP of 48.4 and 31.2 days for NC 84173 and Cornell 871213-1, respectively. The F1 and F2 generations had FMP of 33.1 and 34.7 days, respectively. The parents, F1, and F2 generations all differed in FMP. Parental, F1, and F2 generations yielded an estimate of broad-sense SFM heritability of 64% on a single-plant basis. F3 progenies from selected F2s were grown in a greenhouse, and F3-F2 regression analysis gave a narrow-sense SFM heritability of 39%. Parental means differed from each other and from the F1 and F2 means for period from sowing to anthesis, fruit weight, and locule number. F1 and F2 means did not differ for any trait and were far below the midparent values, approaching Cornell 871213-1 for each trait except for the number of days from sowing to anthesis. Significant correlations existed in the F2 generation between FMP and fruit weight (0.61) and between fruit weight and locule number (0.69). Significant correlations existed between selected F2s and their F3 progeny for FMP (0.53), fruit weight (0.78), and days from sowing to anthesis (0.78). In the F3 generation, a significant correlation occurred between FMP and fruit weight (0.48). F3-F2 regression and realized heritabilities were used as two estimates of narrow-sense heritability (29% and 31%, respectively) for days from sowing to anthesis.
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