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  • Author or Editor: James R. Myers x
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Tomato lines carrying the genes Aft, atv, Abg, hp-1, and an as yet undetermined gene from the introgression line LA2099 have been combined to produce fruit with elevated anthocyanin content. The antioxidant activity of juice made from anthocyanin-expressing tomatoes was compared to juices made from tomatoes with varied carotenoid content. The contribution of anthocyanin to the total antioxidant activity of the whole fruit in current material is small, but with potential for significant improvement. The increase in flavonoids in the elevated anthocyanin lines has increased water-soluble antioxidant activity of the fruit in vitro.

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Continued and mounting evidence of the health benefits provided by carotenoid and anthocyanin pigments has increased public interest in dietary sources of these important phytonutrients. Tomatoes (Lycopersicon esculentum) are the primary dietary contributor of lycopene and an important source of beta-carotene. A collection of tomatoes containing the genes hp-1, dg, ogc, Ip, B and Af that are known to affect carotenoid and anthocyanin levels have been analyzed using HPLC. Levels of lycopene, beta-carotene, phytoene, and phytofluene have been determined in these accessions. Accession LA 3005, containing the dg gene, had the highest lycopene levels of the accessions analyzed (14 mg/100 g fresh wt.). A rapid HPLC method for quantitation of carotenoid levels from tomato fruit has been developed. “Heirloom” black and purple tomatoes have also been included in the accessions analyzed and have carotenoid levels comparable to cultivated red tomatoes. Anthocyanin presence has been confirmed only in the accessions LA 1996 (Af) and in some fruit of segregating plants from LA 3668 (Abg). Total monomeric anthocyanin content of LA 1996 as measured by the pH differential method is estimated to be 5.6 mg/100 g in the outer pericarp tissues and 18.6 mg/100 g in the skin tissue.

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Marker-based selection for resistance to zucchini yellow mosaic virus in squash (Cucurbita spp.) would allow breeders to screen individual plants for resistance to multiple viruses. The C. moschata landrace Nigerian Local is widely used as a source of resistance in C. pepo breeding programs. We used RAPDs and bulk-segregant analysis to screen two BC1 populations for a marker linked to the dominant major gene for resistance from Nigerian Local. The initial cross was Waltham Butternut × Nigerian Local; the test populations were created from reciprocal backcrosses to Waltham Butternut. Both populations segregated 1:1 for resistance when hand-inoculated with ZYMV. RAPD primers were screened on a resistant bulk and a susceptible bulk from each population, and Waltham Butternut and Nigerian Local. Primers that gave bands linked to resistance were further screened using DNA from individual plants in each population. The potential markers will be tested on several populations derived from crosses between summer squash (C. pepo) and Nigerian Local to determine if they would be useful for selection in a C. pepo background.

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White mold, caused by Sclerotinia sclerotiorum (Lib.) de Bary, causes major losses in dry and snap bean (Phaseolus vulgaris) production. With little genetic variation for white mold resistance in common bean, other potential sources for resistance must be investigated. Accessions of scarlet runner bean (P. coccineus) have been shown to have partial resistance exceeding any to be found in common bean. Resistance is quantitative with at least six QTL found in a P. coccineus intraspecific resistant × susceptible cross. Our goal is to transfer high levels of resistance from P. coccineus into commercially acceptable common bean lines. We developed interspecific advanced backcross populations for mapping and transfer of resistance QTL. 111 BC2F5 lines from a cross between OR91G and PI255956 have been tested in straw tests and oxalate tests, as well as in a field trial. The data show that the OR91G × PI255956 population carries a high level of resistance, but because of the quantitative nature of resistance, it may be necessary to intercross individuals to achieve higher levels. SSR, RAPD, and AFLP markers are being tested in the population to construct a linkage map for placement of QTL. QTL identified from each type of test (straw, oxalate, and field) may provide additional information about the genetic architecture of white mold resistance. Three other populations are from advanced backcrosses of the recurrent parents G122, OR91G, and MO162, with PI433251B as the donor parent in each. Analyses and advance of these populations will follow, the results of which should confirm QTL identified in the OR91G × PI255956 population, as well as possible additional resistance QTL from PI433251B.

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White mold, (Sclerotinia sclerotiorum), is an aggressive pathogen of beans and is capable of inflicting devastating damage on yield. Finding resistance is a major concern to bean breeders. The scarlet runner bean (Phaseolus coccineus) is generally known to have greater resistance to white mold than does the common bean, (P. vulgaris). Since it is possible to cross these two species, we have started to examine the NPGS core collection of P. coccineus for resistance to this pathogen. A straw test was used to measure physiological resistance of bean stems to white mold. A rating of one equates to a small lesion, resulting from contact with inoculum, and a rating of nine describes total plant collapse. Controls that were used were two common beans, 91G, a commercially produced, blue lake type snap bean and ExRico, a small, white dry bean. The bean 91G received a straw test rating of 8.3, which correlates to a field test rating of 8.5. ExRico rated 7.4 with the straw test and had a field test score of 6.5. Within the P. coccineus collection we found very strong resistance, with straw test values of 1 and 2 in several individual plants and in some accessions. Accessions that had individuals that displayed the strongest resistance of all the plants tested were: PI201299, PI361302, PI406938, and PI535278. These accessions appeared to be segregating for white mold resistance. Accessions showing the best average resistance were: PI313221, PI361372, PI361539, and PI583553. Because P. coccineus is outcrossed, we expected to find variation within accessions for white mold resistance. Some accessions had uniformly high levels of resistance, while other accessions showed variability.

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One hundred S. l. var. cerasiforme (Dunal) accessions from the ‘Tanksley’ designated core collection were evaluated for horticultural quality under greenhouse conditions. Fourteen selected accessions were grown under field conditions in a replicated trial to evaluate the fruit for phenolic content. Total fruit phenolics ranged from 44 to 82 mg/100 g gallic acid equivalents (GAE) fresh weight (FW) as measured by Folin-Ciocalteau assay (F-C), and 12 to 108 mg/100 g FW as measured by high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). Five accessions (LA1712, LA1455, LA2633, LA1668, and LA2632) had significantly higher total phenolics (F-C) than cultivars (P ≤ 0.05). These five accessions also possessed interesting phenolics profiles, including high levels of caffeoylquinic acids (LA1620, LA1455, and LA2633) and rutin (LA2633).

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A nutritional study was initiated to determine which carotenoids found in tomato result in decreased lipid oxidation ex vivo. To compare the carotenoids in a human diet without the use of purified supplements, tomatoes expressing nonfunctional enzymes in the carotenoid pathway were used. Tomato lines carrying the genes t, B, ogc, Del, or r were grown to produce fruit containing with high levels of prolycopene, beta-carotene, lycopene, or delta-carotene respectively, or low total carotenoids in r. Juices were processed from these lines and used in a dietary intervention study. Plasma samples were drawn before and after consumption of each juice. These samples were subjected to a battery of tests to analyze the contribution of carotenoids to the total lipid antioxidant status. Results of these tests are discussed.

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