The expression and inheritance of the fused vein trait in Cucurbita pepo were investigated. The fused vein inbred, NH2405, was crossed to normal lines, NH614, and NHBP10. Reciprocal F1, F2, F3 and BC populations were generated and examined for leaf type segregation in field and greenhouse environments. Although the fused vein phenotype is stable in NH2405, it exhibited a continuum of expression in segregating populations. The onset of vein fusion ranged from the fourth to the tenth leaf stage and degree of fusion varied from slight (1-5 cm) to extreme (10-20 cm). Inheritance ratios varied with population, conditions of production, and direction of cross. Most segregating populations fit either a single or double recessive gene model, however, a quarter of the populations showed no or low fused vein recovery. A feasible explanation for the distorted inheritance is that the fused vein trait is a gametophytic subvital, governed by a single recessive gene, fv. Although less likely, a double recessive, subvital model cannot be ruled out.
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