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Jonathan W. Sinclair and David H. Byrne

Carbohydrate energy source of various tissue culture media has an effect on growth and survival of the explants. Sucrose is the standard carbohydrate used in most tissue culture systems. The objective of the study was to determine the effect of five carbohydrate sources (fructose, glucose, maltose, sorbitol, and sucrose) at two levels (2% and 3%) on germination, growth, and survival of immature peach embryos (9.7 to 14.7mm) in vitro. Five cultivars were used. Overall, fructose, maltose, and sucrose each stimulated germination and growth as the primary carbohydrate energy source of peach embryo culture to the same degree; glucose and sorbitol were inferior. However, fructose was superior to sucrose in one cultivar. In general, sugar level did not affect survival, although cultivars did vary somewhat. Survival was found to be highly dependent upon embryo maturity.

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Xuan Wu, Shuyin Liang, and David H. Byrne

Plant architecture is a crucial trait in plant breeding because it is linked to crop yield. For ornamental crops such as roses, plant architecture is key for their aesthetic and economic value. In 2015, six rose plant architectural traits were evaluated on 2- to 3-year-old plants of F1 rose populations in May and December in College Station, TX, to estimate variability and heritability. The traits included plant height, the number of primary shoots, the length of primary shoots, the number of nodes on the primary shoot, the number of secondary shoots per primary shoot, and the number of tertiary shoots per primary shoot. Among these traits, plant height, the number of primary shoots, and the length of primary shoots showed a substantial amount of variability, whereas the number of secondary and tertiary shoots per primary shoot were skewed toward zero. Using a random effects model restricted maximum likelihood (REML) analysis, the architectural traits demonstrated low to moderate narrow-sense heritability (0.12–0.50) and low to high broad-sense heritability (0.34–0.92). Plant height and the number of primary shoots changed little after the first growth phase, whereas the other four traits were affected greatly by the genotype-by-environment (growth phase) interaction.

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Shuyin Liang, Xuan Wu, and David Byrne

This project examined rose (Rosa ×hybrida) performance by measuring flower size and flower numbers per inflorescence in spring, summer, and fall seasons (mean temperatures 21.7, 30.0, and 18.1 °C, respectively) in interrelated rose populations. Populations and progeny differed in flower size as expected. Heat stress in the summer season decreased flower diameter (18%), petal number (17% to 20%), and flower dry weight (32%). Analysis of variance (ANOVA) showed a significant population/progeny × heat stress interaction for flower diameter indicating that rose genotypes responded differentially to heat stress. Flower size traits had moderate low to moderate narrow-sense (0.38, 0.26–0.33, and 0.53 for flower diameter, petal number, and flower dry weight, respectively) and moderately high to high broad-sense (0.70, 0.85–0.91, and 0.88 for flower diameter, petal number, and flower dry weight, respectively) heritability. Genotype × environment (G × E) variance (population/progeny × heat stress) for flower diameter accounted for ≈35% of the total variance in the field experiment indicating that heat stress had moderate differential genotypic effects. However, the genetic variance was several fold greater than the G × E variance indicating selection for flower size would be effective in any season but for the selection of a stable flower size (heat tolerant) rose genotype, selection would be required in both the cool and warm seasons. Seasonal differences in flower productivity of new shoots did not appear related to heat stress but rather to the severity of pruning conducted in the different seasons. The number of flowers produced on the inflorescence had moderate narrow-sense (h 2 = 0.43) and high broad-sense (H 2 = 0.75) heritability with a moderate genotype × pruning effect that explained about 36% of the variance.

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Yan Ma, David H. Byrne, and David M. Stelly

Mitotic chromosome numbers and measurements were determined from enzymatically digested shoot tips for 14 species of Rosa, subgenus Hulthemia, Platyrhodon, and Rosa (the latter represented by sections Pimpinellifoliae, Cinnamoneae, Synstylae, Banksianae, Laevigatae, and Bracteatae). All were 2n = 14 or 2n = 28, as expected from previously published chromosome counts in Rosa. Arm lengths of chromosome pairs measured from digitized images were analyzed for similarity using a least-squares algorithm. On this basis, tetraploid species were compared to their diploid relatives. This study demonstrates the value of karyotypic data in combination with morphological and ecological information for examining the evolution of Rosa.

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David Shupert, David H. Byrne, and H. Brent Pemberton

Research with the Basye Rose Breeding and Genetic Program at Texas A&M University has developed rose populations to use to study the genetic nature of leaf, stem, and several other rose traits. The rose populations are from the backcross of Rosachinensis`Old Blush' to WOB (interspecific hybridization of the diploid parents Rosawichuariana `Basye's Thornless' and `Old Blush'). The qualitative trait of presence of stem prickles and the quantitative traits of stem prickle density and leaflet number were observed in three field locations. Two locations are in College Station, Texas, and one location in Overton, Texas. The qualitative trait of presence of stem prickles supports the reported monogenic modes of inheritance. The presence of stem prickles (dominant) had a segregation ratio of 1:1 for prickles: no prickles. Prickle density and leaflet number demonstrated a quantitative mode of inheritance. For prickle density the genotype was significant and environment was nonsignificant. For leaflet number the genotype/generation was significant and environment was nonsignificant. This shows that genotype influences prickle density and leaflet number expression. The genotype by environment interaction was nonsignificant for all traits.

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David H. Byrne, Shi Yan, and Terry A. Bacon

Peach trees when grown in calcareous soils frequently exhibit lime-induced iron chlorosis. There have been numerous reports of rootstock tolerant to soil alkalinity but given the wide range of field conditions under which the comparison were made, it is difficult to quantify the relative tolerance of the different rootstock. A greenhouse screening procedure using a 0.5g/liter potassium bicarbonate solution (pH 8.0-8.3) was employed to compare the tolerance levels of 50 peach, almond and hybrid lines. Most peach lines tested were very susceptible (Nemaguard) to susceptible (Nemared, Lovell). A few exhibited a low level of tolerance (Montclar, Rutger Red Leaf, Rancho Resistant). High levels of tolerance were found with in almond and almond-peach hybrid families.

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Suzanne M.D. Rogers, Kalyani Dias, and David Byrne

Viral damage is a major problem in citrus. As most citrus are asexually propagated, it is necessary to have an alternative way of regenerating virus-free plants from infected plants. Shoot apicies are the most suitable explant material for this purpose because that part of the plant is virus-free. Fifty sour orange shoot tips and 22 Swingle shoot tips, 1 mm - 1.5 mm long, were excised from in vitro germinated seedlings and cultured on semisolid Murashige and Skoog medium, without growth regulators, containing 0.2 % Gelrite. After 8-10 weeks, shoots and leaves developed in 68'% of the sour orange explants, and in 77% of the Swingle explants. Some explants produced roots, after 11-12 weeks, and could be removed from culture and established in soil medium.

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William A. Black, David H. Byrne, and H. Brent Pemberton

Five commercial cultivars and one species of rose were evaluated in a field trial for resistance to blackspot caused by Marssonina rosae. The trial was set up as a split-plot with two treatments. Each subplot was either protected on a weekly basis with a fungicide application to control blackspot or left to progress naturally with the disease. The trial was evaluated for blackspot resistance and for growth characteristics. Only the one species, Rosa roxburghii, was disease-free in both situations. Two cultivars, Peace and Sunflare, were the least resistant. They averaged 65% defoliation and a 50% infection rating. This corresponded to a 50% reduction in height and a 90% reduction in fresh weight of the plant. `Red Radiance' had ≈20% less defoliation than the two above cultivars, which was reflected by a 20% increase in growth. `Old Blush' had a higher resistance rating, but its propensity to quickly drop its foliage upon infection left it with a similar growth reduction as `Red Radiance'. `Carefree Wonder' was the most-resistant commercial cultivar. It had only a 43% decrease in fresh weight. `Red Radiance' and `Carefree Wonder' both displayed much greater defoliation during December, whereas the other susceptible cultivars showed the same degree of defoliation as earlier in the season.

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Yan Ma, Charles F. Crane, and David H. Byrne

The tetraploid (2n = 4x = 28) rose 86-7 (Rosa wichuraiana × R. rugosa rubra) and its hybrids with the thornless tetraploid rose cultivar Basye's Blueberry (2n = 28) were analyzed for meiotic configuration frequencies and meiotic abnormalities. Genomic relationships in these hybrids were interpreted with the aid of a model of meiotic chromosome association in tetraploids. The closest-fitting model solutions indicated a 2:2 (AABB) pattern of genomic relationships, with 65% to 90% of all association between most closely related genomes. Some of the optimal solutions were transitional to a “ring4” pattern, in which one of the possible pairing arrangements is suppressed. The same configuration frequencies could also reflect a “4:0” pattern of equally similar genomes with fractionally more than two independent pairing and chiasma-forming domains per chromosome. Observed meiotic abnormalities included chromosome stickiness and asynchronous chromosome contraction within cells. Pollen stainability varied independently of meiotic irregularity or multivalent frequency. The observed configuration frequencies are consistent with partially tetrasomic inheritance that retains considerable heterozygosity, but allows individual contributions from parental genomes to become homozygous.

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William A. Black, David H. Byrne, and H. Brent Pemberton

Forty-five rose genotypes including modem cultivars and rose species were evaluated in a field trial for resistance to black spot caused by Marssonina rosae. The trial was designed as a randomized block with four replications at two sites. The plots were planted at College Station (East Central Texas) and Overton (Northeast Texas). Ratings were done for the percentage of leatlets with black spot lesions and for leaf defoliation. These ratings were taken four times during the growing season from May to October 1993. Preliminary results indicate a high degree of resistance in the ten species studied, Modem cultivars were equally divided into moderate resistance, low resistance, and susceptible with only four showing high resistance. Disease pressure was higher and occurred earlier in the season at the Overton site. Disease pressure was highest at both sites in late spring and again in fall. Pressure was lowest in August after a prolonged period without rain. Introduction during the growing season of a previously unseen race of the pathogen was observed by the performance of the cultivar Sunbright.