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  • Author or Editor: James R. Myers x
  • Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science x
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A molecular and morphological marker map would improve our knowledge of Cucurbita genetics, and would facilitate efforts to breed improved summer and winter squash cultivars. Random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) markers were used to construct a partial map of the Cucurbita genome. The mapping population was the BC1 progeny of the Cucurbita pepo L. yellow straightneck inbred A0449 and the tropical Cucurbita moschata Duchesne ex Lam. landrace `Nigerian Local'. A0449 was the recurrent parent. This cross was chosen because of the relatively greater economic importance of summer squash, traits of value to be introgressed from the C. moschata parent, and maximized genetic variation from the interspecific cross. The map contains 148 RAPD markers in 28 linkage groups. Loci controlling five morphological traits were placed on the map. The map covers 1,954 cM, which is estimated to be 75% of the Cucurbita genome. The qualitative traits placed on the map include the B gene for fruit which turn yellow before anthesis, the M gene for silver mottling of leaves, and a locus controlling the intensity of rind color on mature fruit. Quantitative trait loci (QTL) associated with fruit shape and the depth of the indentations between primary leaf veins were identified.

Free access

The persistent color (pc) trait in snap bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) is a member of the stay-green gene family and falls into the cosmetic subclass. Cosmetic stay-green variants remain green but lose photosynthetic competence during senescence. It is an economically useful trait in snap bean as a result of its effects on pod quality. The trait produces a dark-green, uniform appearance of fresh pods, but has other pleiotropic effects, including a light-green seed color, bleached-white cotyledons on emergence, and foliage and pods that remain green even while senescing. One additional pleiotropic effect is reduced field germination and emergence compared with white- and colored-seeded genotypes. Nevertheless, with the aid of seed-applied fungicides, pc types occupy ≈40% of commercial snap bean acreage in the United States. This research project was aimed at understanding why and how germination and emergence is affected in pc beans. The effect is thought to be related to soil-borne pathogens because fungicide treatment of pc seeds increases germination and emergence rates to levels comparable to treated white- and colored-seeded genotypes. For our experiments, we increased seeds of 45 experimental lines and commercial cultivars (25 of which were pc) under uniform growing conditions. Initial experiments documented that, in the laboratory, all seeds analyzed in a tetrazolium test had high viability. Furthermore, untreated seeds of pc and non-pc types germinated in the laboratory showed no difference in germinability, whereas in the field, germination of pc types was reduced significantly. In addition, pc types showed substantially greater infection rates of seeds and seedlings, with the main pathogen being Fusarium oxysporum Schl. f. sp. phaseoli Kendrick & Snyder. Water uptake by green pc seeds was significantly more rapid than white and colored seeds. Measurements of electrical conductivity revealed that pc types had greater solute leakage than other seed types. When seed anatomic structure was examined, pc types had a significantly thinner testa, especially the osteosclereid layer. The reduction in germination and emergence appears to begin with a thinner, more fragile testa showing increased cracking that may happen during seed harvest and conditioning (but certainly does happen during imbibition), allowing more rapid water uptake during germination that leads to testa rupture. Increased and rapid solute diffusion into the surrounding spermosphere stimulates and attracts pathogens to colonize the seeds before seedlings can become established. Seed handling and conditioning processes before planting could be modified to improve field emergence and stand establishment. Selection for thicker testa may also mitigate some of the damage observed during germination of pc cultivars.

Open Access

Common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) is a nutritionally complete food, but contains antinutritional compounds that reduce digestibility. One group of compounds includes the raffinose family oligosaccharides (RFOs) (raffinose, stachyose, and verbascose), which are partly responsible for flatulence after beans are eaten. RFOs stabilize cell membranes during seed desiccation and when the seed rehydrates during germination. While low levels of RFOs are desirable nutritionally, high levels may enhance germination and emergence, particularly in cold, wet soils. Eight landraces selected for high and low sucrose, raffinose, and stachyose content, were crossed in a diallel mating design to investigate genetic control of the RFOs. Derivatized soluble sugars were measured using gas-liquid chromatography. Fructose, sucrose, raffinose, and stachyose were detected. In the F1, fructose varied from 0.1 to 2.5 mg·g-1 dry weight (DW), sucrose from 17.2 to 56.5 mg·g-1 DW, raffinose from 0.1 to 4.1 mg·g-1 DW, and stachyose ranged from 7.6 to 43.7 mg·g-1 DW. Griffing's analysis estimates of general combining ability were on average, 16.5 times larger than specific combining ability for all the RFOs, indicating that additive genetic variance was most important. Significant reciprocal differences were detected in the F1 and F2, but not in the F3. RFO accumulation was partially dominant as indicated by Hayman's analysis. Narrow sense heritability averaged over F2 and F3 generations for sucrose, raffinose, stachyose, total sugar, and total oligosaccharides were 0.22, 0.54, 0.44, 0.17, and 0.27, respectively. Moderate heritabilities indicate that manipulation of RFO accumulation in this set of bean lines would probably need to be done on a progeny row basis with replication.

Free access

Snap bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) breeding programs are tasked with developing cultivars that meet the standards of the vegetable processing industry and ultimately that of the consumer, all the while matching or exceeding the field performance of existing cultivars. While traditional breeding methods have had a long history of meeting these requirements, genetic marker technology, combined with the knowledge of important quantitative trait loci (QTL), can accelerate breeding efforts. In contrast to dry bean, snap bean immature pods and seeds are consumed as a vegetable. Several pod traits are important in snap bean including: reduced pod wall fiber, absence of pod suture strings, and thickened, succulent pod walls. In addition, snap bean pods are selected for round pod cross section, and pods tend to be longer with cylindrical seed shape. Seed color is an important trait in snap bean, especially those used for processing, as processors prefer white-seeded cultivars. The objective of this study was to investigate the genetic control of traits important to snap bean producers and processors. RR6950, a small seeded brown indeterminate type IIIA dry bean accession, was crossed to the Oregon State University (OSU) breeding line OSU5446, a type I Blue Lake four-sieve breeding line to produce the RR138 F4:6 recombinant inbred (RI) mapping population. We evaluated the RR138 RI population for processing and morphological traits, especially those affecting pods. The RR138 population was genotyped with the BARCBean6K_3 Beadchip, and single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were used to assemble a linkage map, and identify QTL for pod traits. The linkage map produced from this study contained 1689 SNPs across 1196cM. The map was populated with an average of one SNP per 1.4 cM, spanning 11 linkage groups. Seed and flower color genes B and P were located on Pv02 and Pv07, respectively. A QTL for string:pod length (PL) ratio was found on Pv02 controlling 32% of total genetic variation. QTL for a suite of important processing traits including pod wall fiber, pod height, pod width, and pod wall thickness were found clustering on Pv04 and controlled 21%, 26%, 18%, and 16% of genetic variation for each of these respective traits. A QTL for PL was found on Pv09 controlling 5% of genetic variation.

Free access

Phytochemicals such as phenolic compounds in snap bean (Phaseolus vulgaris) have potential human health benefits. The objectives of this research were to determine the variation in total phenolic content (TPC) measured as gallic acid equivalents (GAEs)—expressed on a fresh weight (FW) basis throughout this study—among a diverse collection of both indeterminate climbing (pole) and determinate (bush) bean cultivars (n = 149) using the Folin–Ciocalteu assay. We also evaluated associations between TPC and phenotypic traits and estimated genotype by environment (G × E) interactions in a subset of the cultivars. The TPC had greater than a 4-fold difference among cultivars and ranged from 0.29 to 1.31 mg·g−1 GAE (mean = 0.49 mg·g−1 GAE). Cultivars were classified into categories of high (≥1.00 mg·g−1 GAE), intermediate (>0.64 to <1.00 mg·g−1 GAE), and low (<0.55 mg·g−1 GAE) TPC. Eighty-four percent, 10%, and 6% of the cultivars fell into the low, intermediate, and high categories, respectively. The pole type cultivars had higher TPC (mean = 0.86 mg·g−1 GAE) when compared with the bush cultivars (mean = 0.47 mg·g−1 GAE). Correlations were observed between TPC and both flower and pod pigmentation. G × E interactions did not occur among pole type cultivars for TPC during 2 years of production, but a significant G × E interaction was observed among bush cultivars. The results demonstrate a wide diversity in snap bean cultivars for TPC, and the pole beans averaged higher TPC than bush bean cultivars. This information should be useful to identify high TPC snap bean cultivars.

Free access

The color of vegetables is an important factor in consumer food choices and in cultivar choice by growers and processors for production. In absorbing a broad spectrum of light, leaves support plant development by influencing factors such as biomass accumulation, chlorophyll content, and reproductive growth. The edible organ of the snap bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) is the pod, and its color is not only one of the most important traits for commercial consideration, but also influences phytonutrient content. Although chlorophyll provides the base color, other compounds such as carotenoids and flavonoids may affect leaf and pod color. Darker yellow- or blue-green pods are preferred for processing, but there is more leeway for fresh market, with lighter-colored pods being acceptable. This research characterized leaf and pod color variation in the 378-member Snap Bean Association Panel. Leaf and pod colors were measured with a colorimeter using the L*a*b* scale, which was then transformed to L* (lightness), C* (chroma), and H° (hue angle) for analysis. Both green and wax bean accessions had predominantly green leaves, even though both exterior and interior colors of pods varied by accession. The leaves at the upper level in the canopy were lighter than lower and middle-level leaves. C* of leaves was similar across environments but leaves from the field were greener than leaves of greenhouse-grown plants when converted to Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) values, even though they had similar H°. L* did not differ for corresponding leaf positions of both field and greenhouse leaves. Purple pods were darker (lowest L*) and yellow pods were lighter (highest L*). Although wax beans had similar exterior and interior colors, accessions with purple exterior of pods had green interiors. Green pods were generally two times higher for L* and lower in C* compared with leaves. Pod interior L* was darker than exterior in both years. Pod exterior L* was not significantly different among accessions, whereas pod interior L* differed significantly between years. Broad sense heritabilities ranged from 0.69 to 0.88 for L*, 0.12 to 0. 87 for C*, and 0.81 to 0.89 for H°. Although greater variation was observed in pods than leaves, lower heritability was determined. Moderate correlations between leaf L* and the interior and exterior pod L* implies that it would be possible to select for pod color on the basis of leaf color, with verification using standard cultivars.

Open Access

For many horticultural crops, selection is based on quality as well as yield. To investigate the distribution of trait variation and identify those attributes appropriate for developing selection indices, we collected and organized information related to fruit size, shape, color, soluble solids, acid, and yield traits for 143 processing tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.) lines from North America. Evaluation of the germplasm panel was conducted in a multiyear, multilocation trial. Data were stored in a flat-file format and in a trait ontology database, providing a public archive. We estimated variance components and proportion of variance resulting from genetics for each trait. Genetic variance was low to moderate (range, 0.03–0.51) for most traits, indicating high environmental influence on trait expression and/or complex genetic architecture. Phenotypic values for each line were estimated across environments as best linear unbiased predictors (BLUPs). Principal components (PC) analysis using the trait BLUPs provided a means to assess which traits explained variation in the germplasm. The first two PCs explained 28.0% and 16.2% of the variance and were heavily weighted by measures of fruit shape and size. The third PC explained 12.9% of the phenotypic variance and was determined by fruit color and yield components. Trait BLUPs and the first three PCs were also used to explore the relationship between phenotypes and the origin of the accessions. We were able to differentiate germplasm for fruit size, fruit shape, yield, soluble solids, and color based on origin, indicating regional breeding programs provide a source of trait variation. These analyses suggest that multitrait selection indices could be established that encompass quality traits in addition to yield. However, such indices will need to balance trait correlations and be consistent with market valuation.

Free access