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Chitose Honsho, Keizo Yonemori, Akira Sugiura, Songpol Somsri, and Suranant Subhadrabandhu

Flower bud differentiation and the flowering habit of durian (Durio zibethinus Murray) `Mon Thong' from budbreak to anthesis were investigated at the Chantaburi Horticultural Research Center in Thailand. Clusters of flower buds appeared at the end of November on primary or secondary scaffold branches near where a flower cluster occurred the previous year. Anatomical observations revealed that the development of floral organs was acropetal; the five fused epicalyx forming a large, elongated envelope enclosing the sepals, petals, stamen and fused multi-carpellate pistil. Floral organ development was completed in early January. The mature flower bud more than doubled in size one day before anthesis, with anthesis starting around 1600 hr and ending ≈1900 hr. The anthers did not dehisce until the completion of flowering. This change induced heterostyly in this cultivar, which promoted out-crossing by reducing the possibility of self-pollination. Aromatic nectar that attracted insects to the flower was secreted during anthesis. This is the first report to have clarified the overall flowering process in durian and provides the basic information for elucidating reproductive biology of durian in future research.

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Shinya Kanzaki, Keizo Yonemori, Akira Sugiura, Akihiko Sato, and Masahiko Yamada

Japanese persimmon (Diospyros kaki Thunb.) cultivars are classified into four types depending upon the nature of astringency loss of the fruit. Among them, the pollination-constant and nonastringent (PCNA) type is the most desirable for fresh fruit consumption due to the trait of stable loss of astringency on the tree with fruit development. Lack of tannin accumulation is the main cause of natural astringency loss in PCNA-type fruit, and is qualitatively inherited. The PCNA trait is recessive to the non-PCNA trait. In this study, we investigated amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) markers for the trait of natural astringency loss of PCNA-type fruit using bulked segregant analysis (BSA) for efficient selection of PCNA type plants in a breeding population. A total of 128 primer combinations were tested and one AFLP marker was found to be linked to the dominant allele controlling the trait for astringency. This marker, EACC/MCTA-400, was absent in all of the PCNA-type plants tested, whereas it was present in about half of the non-PCNA-type plants tested. However, RFLP analysis using this marker enabled the detection of the other dominant allele, and all PCNA-type plants could be distinguished from the non-PCNA-type plants. Application of this marker system will be useful for the selection of PCNA-type plants in persimmon breeding.

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Akira Sugiura, Yoshiko Matsuda-Habu, Mei Gao, Tomoya Esumi, and Ryutaro Tao

In persimmon, plant regeneration from cultured cells usually takes place through adventitious bud formation. If somatic embryogenesis were possible, the efficiency of mass propagation and genetic engineering would be greatly improved. We attempted to induce somatic embryogenesis from immature embryos and plant regeneration from the induced embryos. Hypocotyls and cotyledons from immature ‘Fuyu’ and ‘Jiro’ seeds were cultured in the dark in Murashige and Skoog medium solidified with gellan gum and supplemented with 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D) and 6-benzyladenine (BA) at various concentrations. Callus formation started at ≈2 weeks of culture, and the callus formation rate was highest at 3 or 10 μm combinations of 2,4-D and BA. The initially formed calli gradually became brown or black from which white embryogenic calli (EC) appeared secondarily. After ≈8 weeks of culture, globular embryos were formed from these EC, and the formation proceeded until 20 weeks of culture. Formation of globular embryos was higher with ‘Fuyu’ than ‘Jiro’, especially with hypocotyls. When EC with globular embryos were transferred to fresh medium with no plant growth regulators, ≈70% developed to the torpedo-type embryo stage in 6 weeks. The torpedo-type embryos thus formed were germinated and rooted in agar medium with or without zeatin in several weeks without entering dormancy. After germination and rooting, the plantlets were transferred to the same medium and acclimatized for another 4 weeks. As the embryos germinated and rooted simultaneously, the plantlets were easy to grow in pots without transplanting shock. This is the first report on plant regeneration through somatic embryogenesis of persimmon.

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Ryutaro Tao, Hisayo Yamane, Akira Sugiura, Hideki Murayama, Hidenori Sassa, and Hitoshi Mori

This report identifies S-RNases of sweet cherry (Prunus avium L.) and presents information about cDNA sequences encoding the S-RNases, which leads to the development of a molecular typing system for S-alleles in this fruit tree species. Stylar proteins of sweet cherry were surveyed by two dimensional polyaclylamide gel electrophoresis (2D-PAGE) to identify S-proteins associated with gametophytic self-incompatibility. Glycoprotein spots linked to S-alleles were found in a group of proteins which had Mr and pI similar to those of other rosaceous S-RNases. These glycoproteins were present at highest concentration in the upper segment of the mature style and shared immunological characteristics and N-terminal sequences with those of S-RNases of other plant species. cDNAs encoding these glycoproteins were cloned based on the N-terminal sequences. Genomic DNA and RNA blot analyses and deduced amino acid sequences indicated that the cDNAs encode S-RNases; thus the S-proteins identified by 2D-PAGE are S-RNases. Although S1 to S6-alleles of sweet cherry cultivars could be distinguished from each other with the genomic DNA blot analysis, a much simpler method of PCR-based typing system was developed for the six S-alleles based on the DNA sequence data obtained from the cDNAs encoding S-RNases.

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Hisayo Yamane, Ryutaro Tao, Akira Sugiura, Nathanael R. Hauck, and Amy F. Iezzoni

This report demonstrates the presence of S-ribonucleases (S-RNases), which are associated with gametophytic self-incompatibility (SI) in Prunus L., in styles of self-incompatible and self-compatible (SC) selections of tetraploid sour cherry (Prunus cerasus L.). Based on self-pollen tube growth in the styles of 13 sour cherry selections, seven selections were SC, while six selections were SI. In the SI selections, the swelling of pollen tube tips, which is typical of SI pollen tube growth in gametophytic SI, was observed. Stylar extracts of these selections were evaluated by two-dimensional polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. Glycoproteins which had molecular weights and isoelectric points similar to those of S-RNases in other Prunus sp. were detected in all selections tested. These proteins had immunological characteristics and N-terminal amino acid sequences consistent with the S-RNases in other Prunus sp. Two cDNAs encoding glycoproteins from `Erdi Botermo' were cloned. One of them had the same nucleotide sequence as that of S4-RNase of sweet cherry (Prunus avium L.), while the amino acid sequence from the other cDNA encoded a novel S-RNase (named Sa-RNase in this study). This novel RNase contained two active sites of T2/S type RNases and five regions conserved among other Prunus S-RNases. Genomic DNA blot analysis using cDNAs encoding S-RNases of sweet cherry as probes indicated that three or four S-RNase alleles are present in the genome of each selection regardless of SI. All of the selections tested seemed to have at least one S-allele that is also found in sweet cherry. Genetic control of SI/SC in tetraploid sour cherry is discussed based on the results obtained from restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis.

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Wichan Eiadthong, Keizo Yonemori, Shinya Kanzaki, Akira Sugiura, Naoki Utsunomiya, and Suranant Subhadrabandhu

The phylogenetic relationships among 14 Mangifera L. species including three economically important species, i.e., common mango (M. indica L.), horse mango (M. foetida Lour.) and kwini (M. odorata Griff.), were analyzed by comparing 217 amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) markers. The unweighted pair grouping method using arithmetic averages (UPGMA) and neighbor-joining (NJ) method were used and two outgroup taxa, cashew nut (Anacardium occidentale L.) and gandaria (Bouea macrophylla Griff.), were added to both analyses. The common mango was closely related to banana mango (M. sylvatica Roxb.), M. laurina Bl., and M. oblongifolia Hook.f. Intraspecific variation among seven cultivars of common mango was much smaller than interspecific variation and these cultivars were classified into one M. indica group using both methods. Mangifera macrocarpa Bl., M. foetida, and M. odorata were also related to M. indica in both UPGMA and NJ trees, although these three species are classified into a different subgenus (subgenus Limus) from the subgenus Mangifera to which M. indica belongs. Also, in both UPGMA and NJ trees, M. gedebe Miq. and M. griffithii Hk.f. were placed in distant positions among the Mangifera species tested, indicating these two species are related distantly to M. indica. The AFLP technique was confirmed to be useful for phylogenetic analysis.

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Akira Sugiura, Takeshi Ohkuma, Young A Choi, Ryutaro Tao, and Mihoko Tamura

To produce nonaploid Japanese persimmon (Diospyros kaki L.f.) by artificial hybridization, we surveyed the natural occurrence of unreduced (2n) pollen among hexaploid cultivars and sorted them from normal reduced (n) pollen. The sorted 2n pollen was crossed with a hexaploid female cultivar and the resultant embryos were rescued by in vitro culture techniques to obtain plantlets. Three out of six male-flower-bearing cultivars (2n = 6x = 90) produced 2n pollen at rates of 4.8% to 15.5% varying with the cultivar, which was estimated by both pollen size and flow cytometry. After sorting giant (2n) from normal pollen grains by using nylon mesh, they were crossed with a hexaploid female cultivar. The seeds obtained from pollination with normal pollen were perfect, but those obtained from pollination with giant pollen were mostly imperfect, with embryo growth being suspended at the globular stage. Although the rate of survival was very low, some embryos at the globular stage were rescued successfully and grown in vitro. Both flow cytometric analysis and chromosome counting proved that the plantlets obtained were nonaploid.