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  • Author or Editor: Tommy Thompson x
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The Munsell Color System was used to define pecan [Carya illinoinensis (Wangenh.) K. Koch] kernel colors and color changes for 21 clones, 11 locations, and 4 storage methods for nuts collected over a 4-year period. Hue readings ranged from 10.0 (10 red) to 22.5 (2.5 yellow). Value readings ranged from 2.5 to 8.0, and chroma readings ranged from 1.0 to 8.0. A total of 91 color chips (individual combinations of hue, value, and chroma) were needed to describe kernel color variability. In 1987 and 1988, one color [15.0/5/4 (hue/value/chroma)] accounted for 3,979 of the 32,078 readings taken, and the 15 most common colors accounted for 80.7% of all the readings. The Munsell system of color determination was well suited for pecan color determinations. A simplified color rating system with only six color classes was developed for general use by the pecan industry. This system is also routinely used in our breeding and genetics program to define this very important quality trait in pecan.

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Previous work in this lab has shown that drying temperatures above 35°C will cause excessive loss of the kernel's natural light color and less oleic (18:1) oxidation to linoleic (18:2) fatty acid. The former is undesirable because of poor consumer appeal and the latter is desirable because of superiority of oleic acid in reducing low density lipoprotein in the blood plasma of consumers and a longer shelf life. The drying temperature of 35°C and an air volume of 45 CFM was superior in 1989 to 75 CFM at the same temperature and an air dried control. Lower air volumes in 1990 proved to be no better than 45 CFM at 35°C The best compromise drying regime was determined to be 45 CFM at 35°C.

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Four cultivars of pecan [Carya illinoinensis (Wangenh.) K. Koch] were studied for 3 years to determine if variations in yield influence fatty acid composition of kernels. Trees used in the study are part of the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service Historical Block, a test orchard planted in randomized block design with four blocks, having one single-tree replication per block and containing 36 cultivars. Four trees of each of four cultivars (`Cheyenne', `Mohawk', `Pawnee', and `Osage') were used in this test. Trees were in their 5th to 7th leaf from grafting and showed patterns of increasing yield over time for each cultivar. `Osage' was earliest to mature nuts each year and produced nuts with the lowest linoleic acid content. `Cheyenne' was latest to mature nuts and had nuts with the highest linoleic acid content. Oleic acid composition varied with yield in `Osage' and `Pawnee': as yield (kilogram/square decimeter trunk area) increased, oleic acid content decreased. Kernel color, as determined by a Hunter LabScan 5100 Spectrocolorimeter, varied in relation to fatty acid composition for `Osage' and `Pawnee': as oleic acid content increased, kernel lightness decreased. High oleic acid content and light kernel color are associated with high-quality pecans. The pattern of decreasing oleic acid content associated with increasing kernel lightness raises questions concerning the role kernel color evaluation should play in selecting high-quality pecan cultivars.

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A microsatellite-enriched library was developed from `Halbert', a native pecan [Carya illinoinensis (Wangenh.) K. Koch] selection from Coleman County, Texas. A genomic library enriched for simple sequence repeats (SSR) containing 6144 clones was archived in 384 well plates for screening. In total, 439 clones were identified after Southern hybridization using di- and tri-nucleotide repeats as probes. In total, 125 positive clones were sequenced and primers were designed for 24 repeats. The SSR markers chosen for analysis include di-(CT and GA) and tri-nucleotide repeats (CTT, GAA and GAT). Of the 24 primer pairs tested, 19 successfully amplified microsatellites from `Halbert'. DNA was isolated from 48 pecan and hickory accessions selected to strategically represent the genetic diversity of the National Clonal Germplasm Repository (NCGR) Carya collections. The 19 SSR primers that produced good amplification products in `Halbert' were used to evaluate the collection, with 11 revealing polymorphism. The number of fragments amplified with different primer combinations ranged from 4 to 32 in the 48 genotypes tested. Evaluation of the data confirms the utility of the microsatellites in delimiting known relationships.

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More than 170 pecan [Carya illinoensis (Wangenh.) K. Koch] cultivars were evaluated formalate dehydrogenase, phosphoglucose isomerase, phosphoglucomutase, leucine aminopeptidase (LAP), and diaphorase (DIA). Isozymes of LAP were observed in two regions after starch gel electrophoresis. The faster region of activity (Lap-1) was polymorphic and consistently expressed in leaves, wood, and roots. Controlled crosses suggest that Lap-1 is simply inherited and controlled by at least two alleles. DIA was well resolved and storable only from leaf material and produced a complex banding pattern. The ability to differentiate among cultivars by isozymes was good. The 177 cultivars sorted into 72 classes. Forty of the cultivars (23%) possessed a unique series of isozyme patterns. Most cultivars (124 of 177) shared common banding patterns with less than four other cultivars. From the inheritance models of four isozymes, some historical pedigrees can be questioned. Most notably,' Western Schley' could not have been parented by `San Saba' based on the inheritance of Mdh-1 and Lap-1.

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Staminate and pistillate flower maturity of 80 cultivars of young (<15 years old) pecan [Carya illinoinensis (Wangenh.) K. Koch] trees are presented. These patterns show that pollination and receptivity windows within the flowering season can be divided into very early, early, mid, late, and very late season protandrous (Type I) and protogynous (Type II) types. This system therefore provides a seasonally based 30-class Type I and Type II alternative to the standard two-class Type I and Type II system, thus offering enhanced resolution of flowering intervals and an improved means of selecting cultivars to ensure cross-pollination of yard and orchard trees. Scott-Knott cluster analysis of budbreak, nut ripening date, and date of autumn leaf drop segregated cultivars into one of several categories.

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