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Zhanao Deng, Jinguo Hu, Fahrettin Goktepe, Brady A. Vick, and Brent K. Harbaugh

Cultivated caladiums are valued for their bright colorful leaves and are widely used in containers and landscapes. More than 1500 named cultivars have been introduced during the past 150 years, yet currently only about 100 cultivars are in commercial propagation in Florida. Caladium tubers produced in Florida account for 95% of the world supplies. Loss of caladium germplasm or genetic diversity has been a concern to future improvement of this plant. In addition, the relationship among the available cultivars, particularly those of close resemblance, has been lacking. This study was conducted to assess the genetic variability and relationship in commercial cultivars and species accessions. Fifty-seven major cultivars and 15 caladium species accessions were analyzed using the target region amplification polymorphism marker technique. This marker system does not involve DNA restriction or adaptor linking, but shares the same high throughput and reliability with the amplified fragment length polymorphism system (AFLP). Eight primer combinations amplified 379 scorable DNA fragments among the caladium samples. A high level of polymorphism was detected among the species accessions as well as among cultivars. These markers allowed differentiation of all the cultivars tested, including those hardly distinguishable morphologically. Clustering analysis based on these DNA fingerprints separated the cultivars into five clusters and Caladium lindenii far from other caladium species. The availability of this information will be very valuable for identifying and maintaining the core germplasm resources and will aid in selecting breeding parents for further improvement.

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Sandra E. Vega-Semorile, John B. Bamberg, and Jiwan P. Palta

Frost damage to the foliage is a common problem where potatoes are grown, and results in significant reductions in tuber yield. Frost injury also limits the cultivation of high-yielding S. tuberosum cultivars in the mountain regions of Central and South America, where potato is a staple crop. Recent studies have shown that some wild potato species possess a high degree of non-acclimated frost tolerance (growing in normal conditions) as well as high cold acclimation capacity (able to increase frost tolerance upon exposure to cold). Natural frosts affecting potatoes are of two types: a) late spring or early fall frost, where the minimum temperature during the frost episode can be very low; b) frost during the growing season, where the minimum temperature during the frost episode is not as low. It is expected that potato species able to acclimate rapidly would survive better from the latter type of frosts, whereas species having higher acclimation capacity might have a great chance to survive better from the former type of frosts. The objective of this study was to find out if there is genetic variability for the speed of acclimation among different tuber-bearing wild potato species. The species used were: S. acaule, S. commersonii, S. megistacrolobum, S. multidissectum, S. polytrichon, S. sanctae-rosae, and S. toralapanum. Relative freezing tolerance of these species was measured during cold acclimation. Preliminary results suggest that there are differences in the speed of acclimation among these species. We found that these species can be divided into four groups: i) non-acclimators; ii) rapid acclimators, with low to medium acclimation capacity; iii) slow acclimators, with low to medium acclimation capacity; iv) slow acclimators, with high acclimation capacity. We plan to use this information in our breeding program aimed at improving the freezing tolerance of potatoes.

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Said Ennahli and Sorkel Kadir

Variability due to soil types, topography, and climate within a vineyard influences grapevine physiological parameters and fruit quality. Technical feasibility of using precision Geographic Information System (GIS) as a viticulture tool to improve vineyard management and increase wine quality will be investigated. The study was conducted in an experimental vineyard where rows consist of plots with 24 cultivars and selections randomly planted and managed similarly. Monitored vineyard parameters collected by Global Positioning System (GPS) location include soil characteristics, soil moisture, vine growth, crop load, and fruit characteristics. Geospatial maps are used to differentiate yield between the cultivars and selections as high, medium, or low. Production was determined from each variety/selection within the vineyard. Yield parameters were number of clusters, cluster weight, and weight of 50 berries; fruit composition (such as pH), titratable acidity, soluble solids concentration, and anthocyanins were measured. Maps for each factor will be derived via GIS tools and spatial analysis will be conducted to assess which spatial variability factor has more effect on grapevine physiology, yield, and fruit quality. This type of analysis can be used by grape growers to achieve specific wine characteristics in a large or small vineyard by controlling all sources of variability, leading to the ability to perform precision viticulture in the future, with low cost.

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Guenhwa Jung, Dale T. Lindmen, and Dermot P. Coyne

Eight species and 57 selections/cultivars of Penstemon were compared for genetic variability using Random Amplified Polymorphic DNAs (RAPDs). The RAPD technique was used to help understand the genetic relationships in species and cultivars in the genus Penstemon. Ten RAPD primers (from Operon) were screened to identify polymorphisms among these eight species and 57 selections. More than 100 RAPD polymorphic bands were obtained. A principle component analysis was used to study genetic relationships. Variation among species was greater than variation among selections/cultivars within species. RAPD markers distinguished differences between most cultivars tested. DNA fingerprints generated by RAPDs should be useful to distinguish cultivars of Penstemon, as well as to assist in determining genetic relationships between species.

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Juan J. Ruiz, Santiago García-Martínez, Belén Picó, Muquiang Gao, and Carlos F. Quiros

We studied the genetic variability of some traditional tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum L. Mill.) cultivars of Spain, and established their relationships using both simple sequence repeats (SSR) and sequence related amplified polymorphism (SRAP) markers. These included cultivars from different locations of three main types, Muchamiel, De la pera, and Moruno. Additionally we tested two other local cultivars, `Valenciano' and `Flor de Baladre', plus a small sample of commercial cultivars and a few wild species. Both types of markers resolved the cultivars from different groups, but SSR failed to distinguish some of those classified under the same group. All the De la pera cultivars clustered together by genetic similarity with the SRAP markers. The other traditional cultivars, which are grown in a wider geographic range, formed a more diffuse group, which included the commercial cultivar Roma. The Mexican cultivar Zapotec, a breeding line, and the virus-resistant commercial hybrid `Anastasia' were the most distant of all the cultivars. The latter hybrid had higher similarity to the wild species due to introgressed segments from them carrying the resistance genes. Similar results were observed for SSR markers but with a lower level of resolution. This information would be useful to facilitate tomato germplasm conservation and management efforts.

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Joseph J. King, James M. Bradeen, and Michael J. Havey

Nuclear RFLPs were used to estimate relationships among 14 elite commercial inbreds of bulb onion (Allium cepa) from Holland, Japan, and the United States. Variability for known alleles at 75 RFLP loci and 194 polymorphic fragments revealed by 69 anonymous cDNA probes and a clone of alliinase were scored to yield genetically characterized and uncharacterized data sets, respectively. The inbred onion populations possessed more than two alleles at 20 of 43 (46%) codominant RFLP loci. Relationships among the inbreds were estimated by cluster analysis of simple-matching (genetically characterized data) and Jaccard (genetically uncharacterized data) coefficients using the unweighted pair group method and agreed with known pedigrees. RFLPs confidently distinguished among elite inbreds within and between specific market classes. RFLP profiles for virtual hybrids were computer-generated by combining gametic arrays among inbreds of the same market class and analyzed as described above. Allelic and genetically uncharacterized RFLPs confidently distinguished among these hybrids, even though heterozygosity for many markers produced a majority of monomorphic fragments. We randomly sampled decreasing numbers of RFLPs from the complete data sets and calculated simple-matching and Jaccard distances, noting the numbers of probes that were unable to distinguish any two inbreds or hybrids. As few as 10 polymorphic probe-enzyme combinations distinguished among all the inbreds and samples of 20 genetically characterized or 10 genetically uncharacterized clones distinguished all the virtual hybrids. This study demonstrated that the previously reported few RFLPs observed among open-pollinated (OP) onion populations were due to the highly heterozygous nature of the OP population.

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Mike Stanghellini and Jonathan R. Schultheis*

In 1999 and 2000, a total of 28 diploid watermelon cultigens (released cultivars and advanced breeding lines) were evaluated for staminate flower and pollen grain production to assess their potential to serve as pollenizers (pollen source plants) in triploid watermelon production systems. Male reproductive output (staminate flower and pollen production) was quantified during the peak flowering and fruit setting phase of the cultigens under field conditions. The number of staminate flowers produced per plant per day, number of pollen grains produced per flower, and total number of pollen grains produced per plant per day (staminate flowers per plant x pollen grains produced per flower) differed greatly between cultigens (for all tests, P < 0.01). Staminate flower production by cultigens differed by year (P < 0.0003) and days-within-years (P = 0.0094), but pollen production between years by cultigens was stable (P = 0.3845). Total male reproductive output ranged from 134,206 pollen grains per plant per day for `Jamboree' to 321,905 pollen grains per plant per day for `Summer Flavor 500'. These studies demonstrate the genotypic variability in watermelon male reproductive output potential, and may assist growers in selecting an optimal diploid pollenizer for triploid watermelon production.

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D. Esmenjaud, J.C. Minot, R. Voisin, J. Pinochet, and G. Salesses

Resistance variability was evaluated for five rootstock: three Myrobalan plum (Prunus cerasifera Ehr.) genotypes (P.1079, P.2175, and P.2032) grown from in vitro plantlets, one peach (P. persica (L.) Batsch `GF 305') grown from seeds, and one peach-almond hybrid (P. persica × P. amygdalus Batsch `GF 557') grown from rooted cuttings. Twenty-two root-knot nematode populations from different origins were used: Meloidogyne arenaria (Neal) Chitwood (six populations), M. incognita (Kofoid and White) Chitwood (eight populations), M.javanica (Treub) (four populations), M. hispanica Hirschmann (one population), M. hapla Chitwood (two populations), and an unclassified root-knot species (one population). The study was conducted under greenhouse conditions for 1 and 2 months. No galling or nematode reproduction was observed in P.1079 and P.2175, which should be considered immune; P.2032 showed the highest galling and nematode counts when inoculated with M. hispanica and M. javanica. In P.2032, a high proportion of males was recovered in populations that had a limited development. Because the populations of the first four Meloidogyne species reproduce by obligatory mitotic parthenogenesis, high sex ratio maybe the expression of a late form of resistance. Host suitability of `GF 305' was highly variable among M. arenaria and M. incognita populations. A lower relative variation was observed in M. javanica. `GF 557' was resistant to M. arenaria and M. incognita except for one population of M. arenaria that was weakly aggressive and susceptible to M. javanica. Consequently, resistances specific to the genus Meloidogyne for the Myrobalan plum genotypes P.1079 and P.2175, specific to the nematode species for `GF 557', and specific to the nematode population for `GF 305', were evidenced. This study indicates that, in rootstock selection procedures, it is important to test resistance to several populations within the same nematode species.

Open access

Nohra Rodríguez Castillo, Daniel Ambachew, Luz Marina Melgarejo, and Matthew Wohlgemuth Blair

selected from the national genebank, and 3) commercial cultivars. The agronomic performance of all the genotypes was also compared. The overall goal was to understand the variability in qualitative and quantitative plant traits and characteristics found in

Free access

Jennifer Bonina-Noseworthy, J. Brent Loy, Joanne Curran-Celentano, Rebecca Sideman, and Dean A. Kopsell

and 60 d of storage, there was considerable variability among replications and the differences were not statistically significant. Among the C. moschata cultigens, either most increases in carotenoid concentration occurred during storage of fruit for