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Valdomiro A.B. de Souza, David H. Byrne and Jeremy F. Taylor

Thirteen peach [Prunus persica (L.) Batsch] fruit characteristics were investigated for 3 years, 1993, 1994, and 1995, in College Station, Texas, to determine heritability, genetic and phenotypic correlations, and predicted response to selection. Seedlings of 108 families resulting from crosses among 42 peach cultivars and selections were used in the evaluations. A mixed linear model, with years treated as fixed and additive genotypes as random factors, was employed to analyze the data. Best linear unbiased prediction (BLUP) was used to estimate fixed effects. Restricted maximum likelihood (REML) was used to estimate variance components, and a multiple trait model was used to estimate genetic and phenotypic covariances between traits. Genetic and phenotypic correlations ≥0.65 and <0.30 were considered strong or very strong and weak, respectively. Date of ripening, fruit development period (FDP) and date of full bloom had the highest heritability (h2) estimates, 0.94, 0.91, and 0.78, respectively. Fruit cheek diameter and titratable acidity (h2 = 0.31) were the traits with the lowest estimates. Fruit development period, fruit blush, and date of ripening had the highest predicted selection responses, whereas fruit suture, fruit cheek, L/W12 (ratio fruit length to average fruit diameters), and fruit tip had the lowest values. Most genetic correlations were ≥0.30 and were, in general, much higher than the corresponding phenotypic correlations. All four measures of fruit size were genetically and phenotypically very strongly correlated. Important genetic correlation estimates were also observed for date of ripening with FDP (ra = 0.93), date of ripening and FDP with fruit blush (ra = -0.77, ra = -0.72), SS (percent soluble solids) (ra = 0.63, ra = 0.62) and TA (ra = 0.55, ra = 0.64), and SS with TA (ra = -0.56). Direct selection practiced solely for early ripening and short FDP is expected to have a greater effect on correlated traits than direct selection for early bloom and large fruit mass.

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Valdomiro A.B. de Souza, David H. Byrne and Jeremy F. Taylor

Heritability estimates are useful to predict genetic progress among offspring when the parents are selected on their performance, but they also provide information about major changes in the amount and nature of genetic variability through generations. Genetic and phenotypic correlations, on the other hand, are useful for better planning of selection programs. In this research, seedlings of 39 families resulting from crosses among 27 peach [Prunus persica (L.) Batsch] cultivars and selections were evaluated for date of full bloom (DFB), date of ripening (DR), fruit period development (FDP), flower density (FD), node density (ND), fruit density (FRD), fruit weight (WT), soluble solids content (SS), apical protuberance (TIP), red skin color (BLUSH), and shape (SH) in 1993 and 1994. The data were analyzed using the mixed linear model. The best linear unbiased prediction (BLUP) was used to estimate fixed effects and predict breeding values (BV). Restricted maximum likelihood (REML) was used to estimate variance components, and a multiple-trait model to estimate genetic and phenotypic covariances between traits. The data indicates high heritability for DFB, DR, FDP, and BLUSH, intermediate heritability for WT, TIP, and SH, and low heritability for FD, ND, FRD, and SS. They also indicate year effect as a major environmental component affecting seedling performance. High correlation estimates were found between some traits, but further analysis is needed to determine their significance.

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A. Millie Burrell, R. Daniel Lineberger, Keerti S. Rathore and David H. Byrne

Fifteen genetically diverse roses were evaluated for the ability to undergo somatic embryogenesis. Over the two media (MS and B5), two sugars (glucose and sucrose), and two explants (filaments and petiole) used, 20 to 30% of the `Tournament of Roses' callus was embryogenic whereas only crystalline callus was produced in cultures of `Baby Love', `Ingrid Bergman', `Perfume Delight', `Prominent', `Sunflare', and 90-202. Cultures of `Tournament of Roses' consistently produced somatic embryos whereas `Baby Love' produced no embryos. An F1 progeny of `Tournament of Roses' × `Baby Love' was chosen to test whether the ability to undergo embryogenesis in Rosa hybrida L. is heritable. Data collected from tests on F1 progeny between these genotypes suggest that the ability to undergo embryogenesis is indeed heritable in an additive fashion.

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Alberto C. O. Pinto, David H. Byrne and Suzanne M. D. Rogers

SH and MS media, sucrose concentrations (6% and 10%) and types of support (0.25% Gelrite, vermiculite and filter paper bridge) were compared in a factorial experiment to determine the effects on growth of immature embryos from peach cultivar B611505. Embryos were measured at the beginning of the experiment (control) and all treatments were kept in the dark at room temperature, for 40 days. Although gelrite, over all media treatments, increased embryos wet weight by 66%, the embryos were soft and succulent and their dry weight increased only 37%. Vermiculite support, on the other hand, increased wet and dry weights by 63% and 79%, respectively. Less embryo growth occurred with MS medium and filter paper bridge. Except for vermiculite and SH medium, 10% sucrose was more effective than 6% in increasing embryo growth.

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David H. Byrne, Patricia Klein, Muqing Yan, Ellen Young, Jeekin Lau, Kevin Ong, Madalyn Shires, Jennifer Olson, Mark Windham, Tom Evans and Danielle Novick

Rose rosette disease (RRD) whose causal agent, the Emaravirus Rose rosette virus (RRV), was only recently identified has caused widespread death of roses in the midwestern and eastern sections of the United States. A national research team is working on the detection and best management practices for this highly damaging disease. Unfortunately, little is known about the host plant resistance to either the causal viral agent or its vector, the eriophyid mite Phyllocoptes fructiphilus. Thus far, the only confirmed resistance is among Rosa species. Of the over 600 rose cultivars observed, only 7% have not exhibited symptoms of RRD. Replicated trials are in progress to confirm resistance and/or susceptibility of ≈300 rose accessions in Tennessee and Delaware. Rose is a multispecies cultivated complex that consists of diploid, triploid, and tetraploid cultivars. The basic breeding cycle is 4 years with a 3-year commercial trial coupled with mass propagation before release. Thus, if only one breeding cycle is needed, a new cultivar could be produced in 7 years. Unfortunately, for the introgression of a new trait such as disease resistance from a related species into the commercial rose germplasm, multiple generations are required which can easily take two decades from the first cross to cultivar release. Research is ongoing to develop a rapid selection procedure for resistance to RRD with the aid of molecular markers associated with the resistance. Such an approach has the potential of reducing the breeding cycle time by 50% and increasing the efficiency of seedling and parental selection manifold, leading to commercially acceptable rose cultivars with high RRD resistance in less time and with less expense.