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  • Author or Editor: Michael J. Havey x
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Scab (caused by Cladosporium cucumerinum Ell. & Arth.) is an important disease of cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.), and the only source of resistance traces back to the cultivar Maine No. 2. We inoculated hypocotyls of 188 cucumber accessions with one strain of the scab fungus to identify other sources of scab resistance. Accessions NSL5731, 255933, 264666, 264667, 306785, 342951, 354952, 458845, and 535881 showed no symptoms. Plants in accession 525075 showed a continuous phenotypic distribution for reaction to scab; all other accessions were susceptible.

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The U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, announces the release of onion inbred ‘B8667 A&B’ and synthetic population ‘Sapporo-Ki (SKI) -1 A&B’. Both of these releases represent a cytoplasmic male-sterile (A) line with its maintainer (B) for seed propagation of male-sterile plants. ‘B8667 A&B’ is intended for production of red, long-day, well-storing hybrids. ‘SKI-1’ combines the earliness of the Japanese population ‘Sapporo-Ki’ with maintenance of cytoplasmic male sterility. The long-day synthetic population ‘Onion Haploid-1’ (‘OH-1’) is a joint release of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, and the University of Ljubljana, Slovenia. ‘OH-1’ is intended to serve as a responsive control for extraction of gynogenic haploids of onion.

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Hybrid onion (Allium cepa) seed is produced using cytoplasmic male sterility (CMS). For the most commonly used source of onion CMS, male fertile plants possess male sterile (S) cytoplasm and dominant allele(s) at one nuclear male fertility locus (Ms). Because male fertility restoration is not necessary for bulb production, it is desirable to purge dominant alleles at Ms from populations and breeding lines to facilitate the development of male sterile inbreds for hybrid production. In this research, we used molecular markers to establish the cytoplasms and genotypes at Ms in progenies from testcrosses of male sterile lines with plants from three populations [B2354, Ailsa Craig (AC), and Sapporo-Ki (Ski)] possessing the dominant Ms allele. We scored male fertility of testcross progenies by visual examination of flowers and acetocarmine staining of pollen. Different sources of the dominant Ms allele showed significantly different amounts of male fertility restoration and proportions of stainable pollen, complicating visual selection against the dominant Ms allele. For AC and Ski, molecular markers correctly predicted male sterility vs. male fertility of progenies in the greenhouse and field. However, for B2354, male fertility restoration was less clear and especially difficult to score under field conditions, consistent with reduced penetrance of male fertility restoration for this source of the dominant Ms allele. These results will be of interest to onion breeders selecting S-cytoplasmic male sterile lines for hybrid onion development.

Open Access

Restriction fragment length polymorphisms (RFLPs) in the nuclear genome were used to assess genetic diversity among cultivated open-pollinated populations (OPs) of bulb onion (Allium cepa L.). Twenty OPs of contrasting day-length responses [long (LD) and short (SD) day] were examined with 104 random cDNA probes and two to four restriction enzymes. Sixty-one probes detected polymorphisms among the OPs for at least one restriction enzyme. Parsimony and cluster analyses were completed and no distinct grouping was observed between LD and SD OPs. Parsimony analysis generated a consensus tree that grouped all but two LD OPs and their relationships to the SD OPs were not resolved. Cluster analysis grouped all but three LD OPs and the distances from that group to the others were not greater than those among LD or SD OPs. These results suggest that LD and SD onions do not represent distinct germplasm sources and LD OPs possess a more narrow genetic background. The paucity of unique fragments among OPs indicates that phenotypic variation, e.g., day-length response or bulb color or shape, does not reflect diverse sources of germplasm.

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Genetic linkage maps have been proposed as tools for crop improvement. We constructed a genetic linkage map of cucumber including RFLP, RAPD, isozyme, and disease resistance markers. The map was used to determine the number, magnitude of effects, and action of genes conditioning quantitatively inherited fruit-quality traits, including length, diameter, seed cavity size, and color. Traits were evaluated in a replicated field trial over 2 years. A mating design was employed to confirm putative trait loci across generations and estimate overall genetic variances for the quality traits. For some traits, gene number estimates were similar to previously published reports employing biometrical methods.

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Seed of hybrid onion (Allium cepa L.) is produced using cytoplasmic male sterility (CMS). For the most widely used source of onion CMS, male sterility is conditioned by the interaction of male sterile (S) cytoplasm and the homozygous recessive genotype at the nuclear male fertility locus Ms. Because of the biennial generation time of onion, classical crossing and segregation analyses take years to establish cytoplasms and genotypes at Ms. Numerous molecular markers have been developed to distinguish onion cytoplasms and estimate genotypes at Ms. Two nuclear markers (jnurf13 and AcPms1) have been reported to cosegregate with Ms and correctly predict genotypes in commercial breeding lines and diverse onion germplasm; however, these markers were less predictive for open-pollinated (OP) populations from India. We evaluated the efficacy of jnurf13 and AcPms1 to correctly classify genotypes at Ms using 144 random plants from three OP populations of long-day onion from North America. No recombination events were detected between AcPms1 and the Ms locus and three events occurred between jnurf13 and Ms. Our results support either marker as a useful tool to predict genotypes at Ms in North American populations of onion, with AcPms1 being the better of the two.

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Cucumber (Cucumis sativus) production is negatively affected by Zucchini yellow mosaic virus (ZYMV). Three sources of ZYMV resistance have been commercially deployed and all three resistances are conditioned by a single recessive gene. A vacuolar protein sorting–associated protein 4-like (VPS4-like) gene has been proposed as a candidate for ZYMV resistance from cucumber line A192-18. We analyzed the genomic region across the VPS4-like gene for three independent sources of ZYMV resistance in cucumber (A192-18, Dina-1, and TMG-1) and identified three haplotypes across the coding region and considerable variation in the introns. However, the haplotypes in the coding regions of the VPS4-like gene of A192-18, Dina-1, and TMG-1 encode the same protein sequence, revealing the genetic uniformity for ZYMV resistance from diverse germplasm sources.

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The amounts and types of epicuticular waxes on onion (Allium cepa) leaves affect feeding damage by onion thrips (Thrips tabaci). This study used gas chromatography mass spectrometry (GCMS) to establish the identities of waxes and measure over time wax amounts on leaves of inbred onion plants with glossy, semiglossy, and waxy foliage. Nine waxes were detected on leaves of all inbreds, and higher coefficients of variation (cv) were observed for less abundant waxes on foliage of doubled haploid onions. Older leaves had higher amounts of waxes compared with younger leaves on the same plant. Except for one minor wax, amounts of individual waxes on leaves were not significantly different for plants of different ages. There was a significant inbred by sampling date interaction due to lower amounts of waxes on the leaves of older plants from the semiglossy inbred. These results indicate that there is little advantage to multiple samplings of leaves over time from the same plant and resources may be better used to evaluate more plants. The relatively large cvs for amounts of specific waxes may reduce response to selection for unique epicuticular wax profiles to develop onion populations that suffer less feeding damage by onion thrips.

Open Access

Bulbous leek-like plants are a poorly defined group usually assigned to the Allium ampeloprasum complex. Studies were initiated to determine the origin of an unusual bulbous accession received in Shanxi province in China, where it was used in diet as garlic but propagated by seeds, and to genetically compare this accession with morphologically similar plants from Europe. Genetic analyses included karyotypes and genomic in situ hybridization, pollination to leek, genome size determination and nuclear rDNA and plastid DNA polymorphisms. Results revealed that this agriculturally interesting accession from China is a so far unknown variant within tetraploid A. ampeloprasum cultivated taxa. We also observed that great-headed garlic did not share derived states in the chloroplast with leek, revealing that this cultivated plant does not possess the cytoplasm of leek or garlic, while its 1C genome size was 17% bigger than those of studied leek and bulbous-leek accessions.

Free access

The edible Alliums are economically important world-wide. The bulb onion (Allium cepa) is the most widely grown. The Japanese bunching onion (A. fistulosum) has many desirable characters, e.g., resistance to pink root, Thrips, smut, maggot, and Botrytis. Transfer of pink root resistance from A. fistulosum into A. cepa has been attempted for over 60 years. However, sterility of the F1 hybrid is a barrier and there is little evidence of gene introgression during backcrossing to A. cepa. Dr. Corgan has made crosses between A. fistulosum as the seed parent and A. cepa. He backcrossed the F1 hybrids to A. cepa and generated BC2 progenies which showed excellent pink root resistance. RFLPs in the chloroplast genome showed all BC2 progenies had either the normal or sterile cytoplasm of A. cepa. This may be due to not strictly maternal inheritance of the chloroplast DNA or a seed mixture during backcrossing. Other interspecific hybrids and their BC1 progenies had the cytoplasm of A. fistulosum. Nuclear RFLPs show hybrid patterns in the F1 plants. BC1 progenies possess some A. fistulosum markers as evidence of DNA introgression from A. fistulosum into the backcross progenies.

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