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J. Nienhuis, P. Skroch, M. Sass, S. Beebe, J. Tohme, and F. Pedraza

The number of Phaseolus vulgaris germplasm accessions numbers more than 30,000. While the large numbers of accessions increase the probability of preserving genetic variability they simultaneously limit the efficient and routine utilization of this resource. From the approximately 4000 P. vulgaris accessions in the C.I.A.T. whole collection that were collected in Mexico, a core collection of 400 accessions was developed based on variation for agronomic performance, ecological adaptation, and seed characteristics. Random samples of 90 accessions each were drawn from the core and whole collections and evaluated for 224 polymorphic RAPD bands. Based on analysis of the RAPD data there were no significant differences in genetic diversity between the two samples. The correlation of marker frequency for the two samples was 0.984 confirming that the two samples represent the same population.

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François Luro, Frédéric Laigret, Joseph-Marie Bové, and Patrick Ollitrault

We used three short repetitive nucleotide sequences [(GTG)5, (TCC)5, and (GACA)4] either as radiolabeled probes for hybridization with restricted citrus DNA or as single primers in polymerase chain reaction amplification experiments with total genomic DNA. We tested the ability of the sequences to discriminate between seedlings of zygotic or nucellar origin in the progeny of a Volkamer lemon (Citrus volkameriana Ten. & Pasq.) tree. The genetic variability within two species [Citrus sinensis (L.) Osbeck (sweet oranges) and Citrus reticulata Blanco and relatives (mandarins)] also was evaluated. DNA amplified fingerprinting with single primers was the more successful technique for discriminating between nucellar and zygotic seedlings. Although we were not able to distinguish among 10 cultivars of C. sinensis, all 10 C. reticulata cultivars tested were distinguishable. However, it still is difficult to identify the putative parents of a hybrid plant when the two parental genomes are closely related.

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Jianhua Zhang and Miller B. McDonald

Varietal identification of cyclamen and petunia is important for flower seed production because these crops are marketed as hybrids and genetic purity determinations assure the purity of the seed lot and the success of hybridization. Random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) banding patterns have been shown to be useful in identifying genotypes of various crops. This molecular biology technique was applied to five commercial cyclamen and six petunia hybrids. Using bulk seed/seedling samples, the varieties could be differentiated. However, when individual seeds of the cyclamen hybrid were tested, differing polymorphisms were observed. These variations were attributed to genetic variability in the inbred parents. We conclude that the genetic purity of cyclamen seeds can be improved and that the use of RAPDs can assist breeders of hybrid flowering crops in better monitoring seed quality.

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Karl J. Sauter, David W. Davis, Paul H. Li, and I.S. Wallerstein

Yield in common bean, Phaseolus vulgaris L., can be significantly reduced by high temperature (I-IT) during bloom. Ethylene production from plant tissue increases as a consequence of various stresses, including heat stress. The inheritance of leaf ethylene evolution rate (EER) of HT-stressed (35/30C day/night) progenies from crosses among bean genotypes previously categorized as HT sensitive or tolerant, based on cell electrolyte leakage, was investigated. Evidence from generation means analysis of Fl, F2, and backcross progenies shows EER to be genetically controlled, with additive, dominance, and epistatic effects indicated for low EER. The range (0.62 to 2.52 μg-1·hr-1) of EER from field-grown lines and cultivars suggests the existence of considerable genetic variability. EER was associated (r = –0.70) with heat tolerance, as estimated by cell electrolyte; leakage.

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Byron L. Candole, Patrick J. Conner, and Pingsheng Ji

Phytophthora blight caused by Phytophthora capsici Leon. is one of the most important diseases of bell peppers (Capsicum annuum L.) in Georgia. The level of resistance in commercial bell pepper cultivars is not effective in managing this disease in moist and humid conditions, and new sources of resistance are needed. A mixture of six Georgia isolates of P. capsici was used for greenhouse mass screening of 2301 accessions of Capsicum annuum. From the initial screening, 77 accessions were identified as resistant to P. capsici-induced root rot. From those 77 accessions, 28 accessions were selected for seed increase and further replicated root inoculation tests. Replicated tests confirmed the resistance of 14 of the 28 accessions, although genetic variability within the accessions hampered the analysis of resistance in some accessions. Two accessions, PI 201237 and PI 640532, demonstrated consistently high levels of resistance to root rot. These two accessions are potential sources of resistance genes that can be incorporated into commercial bell pepper cultivars.

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S. Abou Taleb, I. Yates, B.W. Wood, and M.M. Fouad

A study was conducted to develop protocol for the preservation of pecan genetic variability by cryogenic storage of zygotic embryos and subsequent in vitro plant regeneration. Parameters evaluated for their influence on embryo survival included the amount of intact kernel, liquid nitrogen (LN) treatment, desiccation, and genotype specificity. Optimum germination with minimum contamination occurred with 12% of the kernel intact. Treatment of explants with LN reduced the percentage of embryos developing into intact plants. `Curtis' and `Shoshoni' had a significantly higher morphogenic response in shoots only than all other cultivars. In summary, cryogenic storage of pecan zygotic embryos was determined to be a feasible means for preservation of pecan germplasm. However, the procedures used in the current study should be altered to increase the probability of embryo survival.

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Mwamburi Mcharo, Edward Bush, Don La Bonte, Catherine Broussard, and Lowell Urbatsch

Eighteen commercial taxa in genera Liriope and Ophiopogon were evaluated genetically and morphologically. Three hundred and forty-four Amplified Fragment Length Polymorphism (AFLP) markers were identified and used in the analysis. Relatedness among taxa was estimated by analyzing the AFLP data using the Dice coefficient of similarity and UPGMA methods. The molecular analysis revealed relatively no genetic differentiation among the taxa ascribed to their respective genera, Liriope and Ophiopogon, based on morphological assessment of floral structure. Greater than 95% of the total genetic variability present was attributed to within group effects using various grouping strategies among the taxa. Among group effects were correspondingly low and not significant (P ≤ 0.05). Results suggest an indistinguishable genetic relationship may exist in the tribe Ophiopogonae between what is currently ascribed as two distinct genera.

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Geok Yong Tan

Six Trinitario females of cacao (Theobroma cacao L.) were crossed with nine Amazonian males in a factorial crossing design. The 54 hybrid progenies were used to estimate genetic variability due to general combining ability (GCA) and specific combining ability (SCA) for yield, pod production, pod weight, husk content, number of beans per pod, average bean weight, and pod value. The results demonstrated that GCA differed significantly for all characteristics from all three sources (Le., female + male, female, and male). SCA (female × male) was also significantly different for all characteristics. The ratio of GCA to SCA ranged from 7.1 for number of beans per pod to 25.7 for pod weight. This result suggested that a major portion of the genetic variability was additive in nature for these characteristics. Among the six Trinitarios, KA2-106 was the best female parent; it contributed high yield and all the desirable pod and bean characteristics into the hybrid progenies. Trinitario KA2-101 combined high pod production and yield, but tended to transmit below-average pod and bean characteristics to its progenies. Amazonians KEE6 and KEE12 were the two highest-yielding male parents, but had below-average bean number per pod and average bean weight. KEE42 and KEE43 combined high yield and transmitted good pod and bean characteristics to their progenies. Based on the GCA effects and the mean performance of the hybrid progenies, a multi-line cultivar consisting of 20 high-yielding crosses with good pod and bean characteristics is being produced in seed gardens for commercial planting.

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Sean B. Fort and Douglas V. Shaw

Seedling offspring of crosses among 10 selected strawberry genotypes (Fragari ×ananassa Duch.) from the University of California strawberry improvement program were established in annual hill culture. Soil treatments consisted of 1) preplant fumigation using a mixture of methyl bromide and chloropicrin or 2) no fumigation. Root systems of individual plants were sampled with a soil probe in January, April, and July 1994 to determine root mass (RM), secondary root mass (SRM), and a subjective root appearance score (RAS). For each trait, genetic analyses of partial diallels were performed to quantify sources of genetic, environmental, and interaction variance. Root trait values differed significantly between soil treatments only for the April sampling date, with all trait values greater in fumigated soils than in nonfumigated soils. For RM and SRM, variance due to general combining ability (GCA) was significant in April and July. Narrow-sense heritabilities (h2) for RM increased between January (0.14) and July (0.40); SRM showed a similar trend with a higher h2 on each sampling date. GCA variances were nonsignificant for RAS, however, significant fumigation × GCA interaction variance was detected for RAS in January. Specific combining ability (SCA) variances were nonsignificant for all traits. To further quantify the extent of interactions, correlations (rg) between genotypic expressions in fumigated soils and nonfumigated soils were calculated for each root trait. These rg values were at or near unity (> 0.85) for RM and SRM on all sampling dates, implying that genetic variability for these traits is conditioned by genes with identical effects within each soil environment. Conversely, rg between soil environments was 0.52, 0.62, and -0.18, for January, April, and July RAS, respectively. These findings suggest that genetic variability exists within this germplasm base for strawberry root mass characteristics. Genetic variation also exists for January root appearance score, but it is not conditioned identically across fumigation treatments.

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C.S. Prakash, G. He, and R. Jarret

The PCR-based DNA amplification fingerprinting (DAF) approach was used to investigate the evolutionary relationships among 30 U.S. sweetpotato cultivars. Phenogram and pairwise similarity matrix based on Jaccard's coefficients showed relationships among U.S. cultivars and their progenitors to be consistent with the pedigree history. The genetic variability of U.S. cultivars was relatively low (compared to a sample of global collection). Many older U.S. cultivars formed a cluster in the principal coordinate analysis, suggesting their narrow genetic base, but new cultivars, such as `Regal' and `Excel', showed greater divergence. Somatic mutants showed close genetic similarity with their wild types and yet distinct in fingerprint profiles (e.g., `Resisto' and `Copper Resisto'; `Redmar' and `Goldmar'). All cultivars showed unique DAF profiles, and thus, the DAF approach enabled cultivar identification. `Centennial' showed high similarity to major U.S. cultivars such as `Jewel' and `Rojo Blanco'. `Regal' and its open-pollinated offspring `Excel' showed high similarity with each other. `Jewel', the most leading sweetpotato cultivar in the United States, clustered closely to its parent `Nugget' (83%). Carver, a selection from a cross `Centennial' × `Jewel', showed 75% similarity with `Jewel' and 63% similarity to `Centennial'. `Scarlet', a mutant of `Jewel', appeared in the same cluster as `Jewel' but showed only 68% similarity. Our results show that DAF may be an useful approach in elucidating evolutionary relationships among sweetpotato cultivars.