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  • Author or Editor: David Francis x
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Tomato is an important cash crop in many developing countries. However, smallholder farmers often lack access to improved cultivars and breeding programs to develop locally adapted cultivars are limited. Participatory crop improvement (PCI) approaches can be used to increase farmer access to improved cultivars. In this project, we used the mother and baby trial (MBT) design to introduce and evaluate tomato cultivars in three villages in the Morogoro Region of Tanzania. Mother trials were conducted in seven environments within the three villages, and variance partitioning revealed significant genetic effects for all traits measured with h 2 ranging from 0.74 to 0.90 for yield and disease reaction, respectively. In baby trials, farmers provided qualitative rankings of cultivars for 16 characteristics, including vigor, yield, harvest period, diseases, insect damage, fruit quality, and salability. Results from baby trials indicated that introduced cultivars were locally acceptable to farmers, except for traits related to marketability. Outcome Mapping was used to evaluate progress in each of the three villages and results suggested that high stakeholder participation levels could predict future adoption of introduced cultivars. Our findings provide a framework for evaluating, selecting, and breeding tomato and other horticultural crops in developing countries using the MBT design for PCI.

Free access

Tomato spotted wilt virus (TSWV) and Phytophthora infestans (late blight) in tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) have a worldwide distribution and are known to cause substantial disease damage. Sw-5 (derived from S. peruvianum) and Ph-3 (derived from S. pimpinellifolium) are, respectively, TSWV and late blight resistance genes. These two genes are linked (within 5 cM on several maps) in repulsion phase near the telomere of the long arm on chromosome 9. The tomato lines NC592 (Ph-3) and NC946 (Sw-5) were crossed to develop an F2 population and subsequent inbred generations. Marker-assisted selection (MAS) using three polymerase chain reaction-based codominant markers (TG328, TG591, and SCAR421) was used in F2 progeny with the goal of selecting for homozygous coupling-phase recombinant lines. From 1152 F2 plants, 11 were identified with potential recombination events between Ph-3 and Sw-5; of those, three were male sterile (ms-10). F3 progeny were generated from the remaining eight F2 recombinants, and resistance to both pathogens, or Ph-3 and Sw-5 in coupling phase, was confirmed in three of those. Recombination was suppressed fivefold in our F2 population to 1.11 cM between genes when compared with published maps of the same region. However, MAS was an efficient tool for selecting the desirable recombination events for these two pathogen resistance genes.

Free access

Bacterial, fungal, and viral diseases of tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) are responsible for widespread yield losses, especially in humid growing environments. Chromosome 11 of tomato contains genes that modulate resistance to several prominent tomato pathogens, including bacterial spot caused by Xanthomonas spp., gray leaf spot caused by Stemphylium spp., Fusarium wilt caused by race 2 of Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. lycopersici, and tomato yellow leaf curl virus (TYLCV) caused by begomoviruses. Major resistance loci are quantitative trait locus 11 (QTL-11) and Xv3/Rx4 for bacterial spot, Sm for gray leaf spot, I2 for Fusarium wilt, and Ty-2 for TYLCV. Marker-assisted selection was used to select for rare recombination events that combined these resistance loci into a linked cassette that can be inherited together in future crosses. A pedigree breeding strategy was used with marker-assisted selection and used to identify a novel coupling of Xv3/Rx4 and Ty-2. Recombination between the two genes was estimated as 0.056 cM, demonstrating that effective combinations of resistance can be established using publicly available germplasm. Progeny from the recombinant plants were screened using inoculated seedling trials to confirm resistance. The recombinants identified maintained resistance levels similar to the resistant controls. Trial results suggest that the trait markers on chromosome 11 are tightly linked to the respective resistance loci and are effective for selecting plants with resistance to the target diseases.

Open Access

For many horticultural crops, selection is based on quality as well as yield. To investigate the distribution of trait variation and identify those attributes appropriate for developing selection indices, we collected and organized information related to fruit size, shape, color, soluble solids, acid, and yield traits for 143 processing tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.) lines from North America. Evaluation of the germplasm panel was conducted in a multiyear, multilocation trial. Data were stored in a flat-file format and in a trait ontology database, providing a public archive. We estimated variance components and proportion of variance resulting from genetics for each trait. Genetic variance was low to moderate (range, 0.03–0.51) for most traits, indicating high environmental influence on trait expression and/or complex genetic architecture. Phenotypic values for each line were estimated across environments as best linear unbiased predictors (BLUPs). Principal components (PC) analysis using the trait BLUPs provided a means to assess which traits explained variation in the germplasm. The first two PCs explained 28.0% and 16.2% of the variance and were heavily weighted by measures of fruit shape and size. The third PC explained 12.9% of the phenotypic variance and was determined by fruit color and yield components. Trait BLUPs and the first three PCs were also used to explore the relationship between phenotypes and the origin of the accessions. We were able to differentiate germplasm for fruit size, fruit shape, yield, soluble solids, and color based on origin, indicating regional breeding programs provide a source of trait variation. These analyses suggest that multitrait selection indices could be established that encompass quality traits in addition to yield. However, such indices will need to balance trait correlations and be consistent with market valuation.

Free access