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William A. Black, David H. Byrne and H. Brent Pemberton

Forty-five rose genotypes including modem cultivars and rose species were evaluated in a field trial for resistance to black spot caused by Marssonina rosae. The trial was designed as a randomized block with four replications at two sites. The plots were planted at College Station (East Central Texas) and Overton (Northeast Texas). Ratings were done for the percentage of leatlets with black spot lesions and for leaf defoliation. These ratings were taken four times during the growing season from May to October 1993. Preliminary results indicate a high degree of resistance in the ten species studied, Modem cultivars were equally divided into moderate resistance, low resistance, and susceptible with only four showing high resistance. Disease pressure was higher and occurred earlier in the season at the Overton site. Disease pressure was highest at both sites in late spring and again in fall. Pressure was lowest in August after a prolonged period without rain. Introduction during the growing season of a previously unseen race of the pathogen was observed by the performance of the cultivar Sunbright.

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William A. Black, David H. Byrne and H. Brent Pemberton

Five commercial cultivars and one species of rose were evaluated in a field trial for resistance to blackspot caused by Marssonina rosae. The trial was set up as a split-plot with two treatments. Each subplot was either protected on a weekly basis with a fungicide application to control blackspot or left to progress naturally with the disease. The trial was evaluated for blackspot resistance and for growth characteristics. Only the one species, Rosa roxburghii, was disease-free in both situations. Two cultivars, Peace and Sunflare, were the least resistant. They averaged 65% defoliation and a 50% infection rating. This corresponded to a 50% reduction in height and a 90% reduction in fresh weight of the plant. `Red Radiance' had ≈20% less defoliation than the two above cultivars, which was reflected by a 20% increase in growth. `Old Blush' had a higher resistance rating, but its propensity to quickly drop its foliage upon infection left it with a similar growth reduction as `Red Radiance'. `Carefree Wonder' was the most-resistant commercial cultivar. It had only a 43% decrease in fresh weight. `Red Radiance' and `Carefree Wonder' both displayed much greater defoliation during December, whereas the other susceptible cultivars showed the same degree of defoliation as earlier in the season.

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Qianni Dong, Xinwang Wang, David H. Byrne and Kevin Ong

Black spot disease, caused by the fungus Diplocarpon rosae Wolf, is one of the most serious diseases of garden roses. Both complete (vertical) resistance conditioned by dominant Rdr genes and partial (horizontal) resistance conditioned by multiple genes have been described. The use of resistant rose cultivars would reduce the demand of agrochemical applications. The characterization of 16 genotypes for resistance to black spot using two laboratory assays, the detached leaf assay (DLA) and the whole plant inoculation (WPI) approach, indicated that these techniques were well correlated. Thus, either method could be used to assess the resistance of the plants to black spot. Fifteen diploid hybrid populations from 10 parents segregating for partial (horizontal) resistance to black spot derived from Rosa wichuraiana ‘Basye’s Thornless’ (RW) were assessed for black spot resistance by quantifying the percentage of the leaf area with symptoms (LAS) and lesion length (LL) measured by the diameter of the largest lesion per leaf in DLAs. The narrow-sense heritability of partial resistance to black spot as measured by LAS and LL data of DLA was estimated to be from 0.28 to 0.43 when calculated with a genetic variance analysis and from 0.74 to 0.86 when generated from offspring–midparent regression. This suggests that the development of rose cultivars with high levels of stable partial resistance to black spot is a feasible approach for the rose industry.

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Bruce D. Mowrey, Dennis J. Werner and David H. Byrne

Eighteen isozyme systems were surveyed in the peach [Prunus persica (L.) Batsch.] plant introduction collection. Seven systems were polymorphic. Three previously unreported isocitrate dehydrogenase (IDH; EC 1.1.1.41), three malate dehydrogenase (MDH; EC 1.1.1.37) and two shikimate dehydrogenase (SDH; EC 1.1.1.25) banding patterns were detected in the clones. Isocitrate dehydrogenase was dimeric in structure, with two alleles present at a single locus. Malate dehydrogenase was dimeric in structure, with three alleles present at the fast locus, while a second locus was monomorphic. Shikimate dehydrogenase was monomeric, with one allele present in most clones, while PI 113452, PI 113650, and PI 117679 were heterozygous for a slow SDH allele. Electrophoretic evidence suggests PI 113452, PI 113650, and PI 117679 are peach × almond (P. dulcis Webb) hybrids, since they were heterozygous for alleles previously reported only in almond.

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Natalie Anderson, David H. Byrne and Maria B. Raseira

A major obstacle faced by programs that breed early-ripening peach cultivars [Prunus persica (L.) Batsch] is the low viability of the embryos from the early-ripening parents that are used as females. Embryo culture techniques have been developed to allow embryos to mature in vitro, thus increasing the chances of germination and survivability. Several media types exist for Prunus embryo culture. Two types, Woody Plant Medium (WPM) and Smith, Bailey, and Hough (SBH) were investigated for this report. The WPM type was studied in two forms, one made from scratch and the other in a prepackaged form. The SBH type was studied with the addition of vitamins and without vitamins. Eight peach genotypes with embryo lengths ranging from 9.6 to 12.7 mm were used. Surprisingly enough, it was found that WPM from scratch performed better than WPM from a prepackaged mix. For all eight genotypes studied, WPM from scratch resulted in as good as or better germination than SBH with or without vitamins. A large media by genotype effect was found, which is partially attributed to the embryo size. The genotypes with larger embryos (>11 mm) tended to perform equally on all media tested whereas the embryos <10.5 mm germinated better on WPM as compared to SBH.

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David H. Byrne, Shi Yan and Terry A. Bacon

Peach trees when grown in calcareous soils frequently exhibit lime-induced iron chlorosis. There have been numerous reports of rootstock tolerant to soil alkalinity but given the wide range of field conditions under which the comparison were made, it is difficult to quantify the relative tolerance of the different rootstock. A greenhouse screening procedure using a 0.5g/liter potassium bicarbonate solution (pH 8.0-8.3) was employed to compare the tolerance levels of 50 peach, almond and hybrid lines. Most peach lines tested were very susceptible (Nemaguard) to susceptible (Nemared, Lovell). A few exhibited a low level of tolerance (Montclar, Rutger Red Leaf, Rancho Resistant). High levels of tolerance were found with in almond and almond-peach hybrid families.

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Yan Ma, David H. Byrne and Katrina G. Porter

Several colchicine-induced amphidiploids of blackspot-resistant, wild diploid rose species were produced for interbreeding with tetraploid garden roses. Shoot-tip chromosome counts confirmed that 86-7 (Rosa wichuraiana Crep. × R. rugosa rubra Hort.) and 86-3 (R. laevigata Michx. × R. banksiae Aiton) are amphidiploids (2n = 4x = 28), and that 84-1000 (R. roxburghii Tratt. × R. laevigata Michx.) is a mixoploid with diploid (2n = 2x = 14) and hypotetraploid (2n = 4x-1 = 27) sectors. The measured volume of pollen grains and guard cells was higher in the tetraploids. Pollen stainability was higher in amphidiploids 86-3 and 86-7 than in mixoploid 84-1000. The amphidiploid 86-7 has greater pollen fertility as determined by crossing with a range of commercial tetraploid roses than 86-3 and 84-1000, but is less fertile than its parental diploid species. Leaflets of the amphidiploids are larger and more crinkled along the midrib than in their diploid parents. These three amphidiploids provide new additions to tetraploid rose germplasm.

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Unaroj Boonprakob, David H. Byrne and Dale M.J. Mueller

Actively growing shoots of peach [Prunus persica (L.) Batsch] were collected every 2 weeks throughout the 1989 growing season. The samples were sectioned longitudinally and transversely to observe axillary bud initiation, which occurred in all samples collected. Differentiation of axillary bud meristems from early season samples (mostly normal nodes) included apical and prophyll formation, with procambium connected to the stem procambium. Little to no differentiation of such structures occurred in the late-season samples (mostly blind nodes). Other results suggest that blind node formation is a consequence of a lack of bud differentiation rather than a failure of bud initiation.

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Natalie Anderson, David H. Byrne, Jonathan Sinclair and A. Millie Burrell

Embryo culture techniques are employed to germinate seed of early ripening peach and nectarine [Prunus persica (L.) Batsch] cultivars. Generally, the embryos in these genotypes do not mature by the time the fruit matures, thus rendering normal stratification procedures ineffective. In 1998 and 1999, immature embryos from multiple peach genotypes were cultured in an embryo rescue medium (Woody Plant Medium, 3% sucrose, 0.065% agar) at 5 °C for 45 days in the dark. Embryos were then placed under lights at either a cool-temperature (18 °C in 1999 and 20 °C in 1998) or a warm-temperature (30 °C in 1999 and 28 °C in 1998) treatment with a photoperiod of 12 hours for germination and initial growth. After 2-4 weeks, embryos were rated for germination, root number, and top growth. The embryos incubated at the cool-temperature regime not only had better germination, but also had a higher rate of greenhouse survival.

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David H. Byrne, Natalie Anderson, Jonathan Sinclair and A. Millie Burrell

Embryo culture techniques are employed in early ripening peach and nectarine cultivars. Generally, the embryos in these varieties are not mature by the time the fruit matures, thus rendering normal stratification procedures ineffective. In 1998 and 1999, immature embryos from multiple peach genotypes were cultured in an embryo rescue media (WPM, 3% Sucrose) at 5 °C for 45 days in the dark. Embryos were then placed under lights at either a cool temperature (18 °C in 1999 and 20 °C in 1998) or a warm temperature (30 °C in 1999 and 28 °C in 1998) treatment with a photoperiod of 12 h for germination and initial growth. After 2 to 4 weeks embryos were rated for germination, root number, and top growth. The embryos incubated at the cool temperature regime not only had better germination, but also had a higher rate of greenhouse survival.