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Richard L. Fery and Philip D. Dukes

A series of greenhouse and field studies were conducted to determine the inheritance of the green cotyledon trait exhibited by the recently released southernpea `Bettergreen' and to elucidate the genetic relationship between the green cotyledon trait and the green testa trait exhibited by `Freezegreen'. Evaluation of parental, F1, F2, and backcross populations of the crosses `Bettergreen' × `Carolina Cream' and `Bettergreen' × `Kiawah' indicated that the green cotyledon trait is conditioned by a single recessive gene. Evaluation of parental and F2 populations of the cross `Bettergreen' × `Freezegreen' indicated that this gene is neither allelic to nor linked with the gt gene that conditions the green testa trait in `Freezegreen'. The color of seeds harvested from plants homozygous for both the green cotyledon and green testa genes was superior and more uniform than the color of seeds harvested from either `Bettergreen' or `Freezegreen' plants. We propose that the newly discovered gene be designated green cotyledon and symbolized gc. Seeds containing embryos homozygous for the gc gene are easily identified. The ability to select in the seed stage should greatly facilitate efforts to backcross the gc gene into cream-, pinkeye-, and blackeye-type cultivars.

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Richard L. Fery and Philip D. Dukes

Greenhouse experiments were conducted to determine the inheritance of the high level of southern root-knot nematode [Meloidogyne incognita (Kofoid & White) Chitwood] resistance exhibited by `Carolina Hot' cayenne pepper (Capsicum annuum L.) and to compare the genetic nature of this resistance to that exhibited by `Mississippi Nemaheart.' Evaluation of parental, F1, F2, and backcross generations of the cross `Mississippi Nemaheart' × `California Wonder' confirmed an earlier published report that the `Mississippi Nemaheart' resistance is conditioned by a single dominant gene. Evaluation of parental, F1, F2, and backcross generations of a cross between highly resistant and highly susceptible lines selected from a heterogeneous `Carolina Hot' population indicated that the resistance exhibited by `Carolina Hot' is conditioned by two genes, one dominant and one recessive. Evaluation of the parental and F2 populations of a cross between `Mississippi Nemaheart' and the highly resistant `Carolina Hot' line indicated that the dominant resistance gene in `Mississippi Nemaheart' is allelic to the dominant resistance gene in `Carolina Hot.' Comparison of the data that were collected on the parental lines in the latter cross demonstrated the superior nature of the resistance exhibited by `Carolina Hot.' The presence of the second resistance gene in `Carolina Hot' probably accounted for the higher level of resistance. The ease and reliability of evaluating plants for resistance to root-knot nematodes and the availability of a simply inherited source of resistance makes breeding for southern root-knot nematode resistance a viable objective in pepper breeding programs. This objective should be readily obtainable by the application of conventional plant breeding methodologies.

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Judy A. Thies, Don W. Dickson, and Richard L. Fery

Two root-knot nematode-resistant bell pepper cultivars, ‘Charleston Belle’ and ‘Carolina Wonder’ (Capsicum annuum L. var. annuum], and their susceptible parents, ‘Keystone Resistant Giant’ and ‘Yolo Wonder B’, were compared for managing the southern root-knot nematode [Meloidogyne incognita (Chitwood) Kofoid and White] in fall and spring tests at Citra, FL. In the fall test, ‘Charleston Belle’ and ‘Carolina Wonder’ exhibited minimal root galling and nematode reproduction, and ‘Keystone Resistant Giant’ and ‘Yolo Wonder B’ exhibited severe root galling and high nematode reproduction. Fruit yield of ‘Charleston Belle’ was 97% greater than yields of the two susceptible cultivars (P ≤ 0.006). In the spring test, one-half of the plots were treated with methyl bromide/chloropicrin before planting the same four bell pepper cultivars. ‘Keystone Resistant Giant’ and ‘Yolo Wonder B’ grown in untreated control plots exhibited severe root galling and high nematode reproduction, but the other six cultivar × methyl bromide combinations exhibited minimal root galling and nematode reproduction. Although soil temperatures (10-cm depth) were greater than 30 °C on 78 days and 57 days during the Fall 2002 and Spring 2003 trials, respectively, resistance did not break in ‘Charleston Belle’ and ‘Carolina Wonder’ in either test. These results demonstrate that root-knot nematode-resistant cultivars such as Charleston Belle and Carolina Wonder are viable alternatives to methyl bromide for managing southern root-knot nematode in bell pepper in sub-tropical environments.

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Richard L. Fery, Philip D. Dukes, and Floyd P. Maguire

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Richard L. Fery, Blair Buckley, and Dyremple B. Marsh

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Richard L. Fery, Blair Buckley, and Dyremple B. Marsh

The USDA, Louisiana State University, and Lincoln University have released a new southernpea cultivar named WhipperSnapper. The new cultivar is the product of a plant breeding effort to incorporate genes conditioning superior yield and seed characteristics of Asian vegetable cowpeas into American snap-type southernpeas. The new cultivar was developed for use by home gardeners and market gardeners as a dual-purpose cultivar that can be used to produce both fresh-shell peas and immature, fresh pods or snaps. Typical ready-to-harvest WhipperSnapper snaps are green colored, 6.4 mm in diameter, 7.6 mm in height, and 24 cm long; the pods are slightly curved at the attachment end. Typical mature-green pods suitable for fresh-shell harvest exhibit an attractive yellow color, are 25 cm long, and contain 14 peas. Fresh peas are cream-colored, kidney-shaped, and weigh 24.5 g/100 peas. Dry pods exhibit a light straw color, and the dry peas have a smooth seed coat. The quality of WhipperSnapper seed is excellent. In replicated field trials, WhipperSnapper produced significantly greater yields of both snaps and peas than the snap-type cultivar Bettersnap. WhipperSnapper has potential for use as a mechanically-harvested source of snaps for use by food processors in mixed packs of peas and snaps. Protection for WhipperSnapper is being sought under the Plant Variety Protection Act.

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Richard L. Fery, Philip D. Dukes, and Judy A. Thies

A series of greenhouse and field studies was conducted over 9 years to characterize three new sources of resistance in cowpea [Vigna unguiculata (L.) Walp.] to the southern root-knot nematode [Meloidogyne incognita (Kofoid & White) Chitwood] and to determine if the resistances are conditioned by genes allelic to the Rk root-knot nematode resistance gene in `Mississippi Silver'. Three plant introductions (PI), PI 441917, PI 441920, and PI 468104, were evaluated for reaction to M. incognita in four greenhouse tests, and in every test each PI exhibited less galling, egg mass formation, or egg production than `Mississippi Silver'. F2 populations of the crosses between `Mississippi Silver' and each of the three resistant PIs were also evaluated for root-knot nematode resistance in a greenhouse test. None of the F2 populations segregated for resistance, indicating that PI 441917, PI 441920, and PI 468104 each has a gene conditioning resistance that is allelic to the Rk gene in `Mississippi Silver'. Our observations on the superior levels of resistances exhibited by PI 441917, PI 441920, and PI 468104 suggest that the allele at the Rk locus in these lines may not be the Rk allele, but one or more alleles that condition a superior, dominant-type resistance. The availability of additional dominant alleles would broaden the genetic base for root-knot nematode resistance in cowpea.

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Richard L. Fery, Blair Buckley, and Dyremple B. Marsh

Home gardeners and farmers in the southern United States have traditionally grown southernpeas to produce both fresh-shell peas and immature, fresh pods, or snaps. American growers do not presently have access to a single variety that is ideally suited for both uses. In 1988, a plant breeding effort was initiated to incorporate genes conditioning superior yield and seed characteristics of Asian “vegetable cowpeas” into American snap-type southernpeas. This effort resulted in the development of `WhipperSnapper', which is suited for use as a dual-purpose variety that can be used to produce both snaps and fresh-shell peas. Typical ready-to-harvest `WhipperSnapper' snaps are green colored, 6.4 mm in diameter, 7.6 mm in height, and 24 cm long. Typical mature-green pods suitable for fresh-shell harvest exhibit an attractive yellow color, are 25 cm long, and contain 14 peas. Fresh peas are cream-colored, kidney-shaped, and weigh 24.5 g per 100 peas. Dry pods exhibit a light straw color, and the dry peas have a smooth seedcoat. The total `WhipperSnapper' yield of snaps can be as much as 62% greater than the total snap yield of the snap-type variety `Bettersnap'; pea yield can be as much as 69% greater. The quality of `WhipperSnapper' seed is excellent and much superior to that of `Bettersnap'. `WhipperSnapper' can be used by home gardeners and market gardeners to produce abundant quantities of snaps and fresh-shell peas during seasons too hot for successful culture of such table legumes as snap beans. `WhipperSnapper' also has the potential for use as a mechanically harvested source of snaps for use by food processors in mixed packs of peas and snaps.

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Philip D. Dukes Sr., Richard L. Fery, and Judy A. Thies