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  • Author or Editor: Mark W. Farnham x
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Bacterial leaf blight incited by Pseudomonas cannabina pv. alisalensis (Pca) is a devastating disease with incidence reports worldwide and a wide host range capable of infecting all commercially valuable Brassica crops. With no chemical control options available, the most effective form of disease control is host plant resistance, but thus far resistant germplasm has only been identified in Brassica juncea L. (mustard greens). We report the first screening of Brassica oleracea L. var. viridis germplasm, including leafy green collard and collard-like accessions, for resistance to bacterial leaf blight by artificial inoculation of Pca in greenhouse trials. All commercial cultivars tested displayed an intermediate disease response resulting in leaf lesion development that renders the product unmarketable. Two sources of significant resistance were identified in the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) viridis collection, which provides a valuable source of resistance alleles for collard cultivar development and introgression into other B. oleracea crops.

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Downy mildew, caused by the fungal parasite Peronospora parasitica (Pers.: Fr.) Fr., is a destructive disease of Brassica oleracea L. crops, including broccoli (B. oleracea, Italica Group). The development and deployment of downy mildew resistant broccoli cultivars is a priority for breeders and producers. Identification of genetic markers linked to downy mildew resistance genes should facilitate selection for resistance and pyramiding of resistance genes into cultivars. The objectives of this study were to 1) identify RAPD markers linked to a single dominant gene for resistance in broccoli, 2) clone and sequence the linked RAPD markers, and 3) develop and evaluate SCAR markers as screening tools for resistance. Bulked segregant analysis led to the identification of eight linked RAPD markers following a screen of 848 decamers. Two of the linked RAPD fragments, UBC359620 and OPM16750, were converted to dominant SCAR markers linked in coupling to the resistance locus at 6.7 and 3.3 cM, respectively. The SCAR marker based on UBC359620 sequence exhibited less accuracy (94%) than the original RAPD (96%) in differentiating resistant and susceptible plants, but the accuracy (97%) of the OPM16750-SCAR was not different than the original RAPD. These SCAR markers are among the first genetic markers found linked to a gene conferring cotyledon-stage downy mildew resistance in B. oleracea. Results of this work provide breeders with useful information and tools for the systematic development of resistant cultivars.

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Collard (Brassica oleracea L. Acephala Group) is a leafy green vegetable adapted to the southeastern United States. The number of commercially available collard cultivars is limited, and the most popular cultivars are susceptible to fusarium yellows, a disease that most cabbage (B. oleracea Capitata group) cultivars are resistant to. We hypothesized that hybrids of cabbage and collard would look more like collard, because heading of cabbage is at least partially recessive to the nonheading growth habit of collard. We also postulated that cabbage–collard hybrids might be used directly as collard cultivars. To test these postulates, cytoplasmic male sterile cabbage inbreds were crossed to different male fertile collard inbreds and hybrid seed was produced. Resulting cabbage–collard hybrids were compared to conventional collard cultivars in three replicated field trials in South Carolina. In all trials, cabbage–collard hybrids exhibited size and weight more similar to conventional collard than cabbage, and throughout most of the growing season the collards remained nonheading. In addition, the cabbage–collard hybrids were much more uniform than open-pollinated collard cultivars. Among cabbage–collard hybrids there was significant variation with some hybrids appearing more collard-like than others. The collard inbreds designated A and B may have the greatest potential for making promising cabbage–collard hybrids. Particular hybrids (i.e., A3 or B2), derived from these inbreds and tested in this study, can perform better than certain conventional collards and may serve as possible new cultivars of this vegetable crop.

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