Ten Cycles of Recurrent Selection for Fruit Yield, Earliness, and Quality in Three Slicing Cucumber Populations

in Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science
Authors:
Todd C. WehnerDepartment of Horticultural Science, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27695-7609

Search for other papers by Todd C. Wehner in
ASHS
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
and
Christopher S. CramerDepartment of Horticultural Science, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27695-7609

Search for other papers by Christopher S. Cramer in
ASHS
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close

Fruit yield, earliness, and quality have low to moderate heritability, but are traits of major importance in cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.). The objective of this study was to determine the changes made in those traits using recurrent selection in three slicing cucumber populations (NCMBS, NCES1, and NCBA1). During population improvement, one or two replications of 200 to 335 half-sib families were evaluated in the spring season for five traits: total, early, and marketable fruit per plot, fruit shape rating, and a simple weighted index (SWI = 0.2(total yield)/2 + 0.3(early yield) + 0.2(% marketable)/10 + 0.3(fruit shape). Families from each population were intercrossed in an isolation block during the summer season using remnant seeds of the best 10% selected using the index. Response was evaluated using a split-plot treatment arrangement in a randomized complete block design with 32 replications in each of two seasons (spring and summer). Whole plots were the three populations, and subplots were the 11 cycles (cycles 0 to 9 plus checks). We measured improvement in performance of the populations in a selected (spring) and unselected environment (summer). Significant gains were made for all traits in all populations over the 9 to 10 cycles of recurrent selection. Greatest progress was made for the NCMBS population, with an average of 37% gain from cycle 0 to 9 over all five traits. The trait where most progress was made was early yield, with an average of 63% gain from cycle 0 to 9 over the three populations.

  • Collapse
  • Expand