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  • Author or Editor: Jianhua Zhang x
  • HortScience x
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Varietal identification of cyclamen and petunia is important for flower seed production because these crops are marketed as hybrids and genetic purity determinations assure the purity of the seed lot and the success of hybridization. Random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) banding patterns have been shown to be useful in identifying genotypes of various crops. This molecular biology technique was applied to five commercial cyclamen and six petunia hybrids. Using bulk seed/seedling samples, the varieties could be differentiated. However, when individual seeds of the cyclamen hybrid were tested, differing polymorphisms were observed. These variations were attributed to genetic variability in the inbred parents. We conclude that the genetic purity of cyclamen seeds can be improved and that the use of RAPDs can assist breeders of hybrid flowering crops in better monitoring seed quality.

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The accelerated aging vigor test subjects seeds to high temperatures (41°C) and relative humidity (about 100%) for short durations (usually 72 hours). These recommendations, however, have been developed for large-seeded agronomic crops and may be too severe for small-seeded flower crops that deteriorate rapidly during storage such as impatiens. We examined the effect of aging regime duration (48, 72, and 96 hours) and temperature (38 and 41°C) as well as relative humidity using three saturated salt solutions (KCl–87% RH, NaCl–76% RH, and NaBr–55% RH) on two commercial impatiens seed lots differing in seed vigor but not percentage germination. The greatest differences in percentage germination after 4 days were found among the treatments of 48 hours for KCl, 72 hours for NaCl, and 96 hours for NaBr. While any of these saturated salt solutions may be used in a commercial situation to determine impatiens seed vigor, we suggest that a total 7-day test period consisting of 72 hours aging at 41°C using saturated NaCl with germination being determined 4 days after aging is most convenient.

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Ornamental peach (Prunus persica (L.) Batsch) is a popular plant for urban landscapes and gardens. However, the genetic relationship among ornamental peach cultivars is unclear. In this report, a group of 51 ornamental peach taxa, originated from P. persica and P. davidiana (Carr.) Franch., has been studied using AFLPs. The samples were collected from China, Japan, and US. A total of 275 useful markers ranging in size from 75 to 500 base pairs were generated using six EcoRI/MseI AFLP primer pairs. Among them, 265 bands were polymorphic. Total markers for each taxon ranged from 90 to 140 with an average of 120. Two clades were apparent on the PAUP–UPGMA tree with P. davidiana forming an outgroup to P. persica, indicates that P. davidiana contributed less to the ornamental peach gene pools. Within P. persica clade, 18 out of 20 upright ornamental peach cultivars formed a clade, which indicated that cultivars with upright growth habit had close genetic relationship. Five dwarf cultivars were grouped to one clade, supported by 81% bootstrap value, indicating that they probably derived from a common gene pool. These results demonstrated that AFLP markers are powerful for determining genetic relationships in ornamental peach. The genetic relationships among ornamental cultivars established in this study could be useful in ornamental peach identification, conservation, and breeding.

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Ornamental peach [Prunuspersica (L.) Batsch.] is a well-known ornamental plant for the garden. However, the genetic relationship among ornamental peach cultivars is not clear, which limits further studies of its molecular systematics and breeding. A group of 16 taxa of ornamental peach, originated from Prunuspersica and Prunusdavidiana (Carr.) Franch., had been studied using AFLPs and ISSRs. A total of 243 useful markers between 75 to 500 base pairs were generated from six EcoRI/MseI AFLP primer combinations (ACC/CAT, AGG/CAT, ACT/CAT, ACC/CTC, AGG/CTC, and ACT/CTC). The average readable bands were 41 per primer combination. Among them, 84% of the bands were polymorphic markers. A total of 132 useful markers between 300 to 1400 base pairs were generated from 10 ISSR primers (UBC818, UBC825, UBC834, UBC855, UBC817, UBC868, UBC845, UBC899, UBC860, and UBC836). The mean reliable bands were 14 per primer. Among them, 62% of the bands were polymorphic markers. Both methods generated very similar phenograms with consistent clades. From these results we concluded that AFLP and ISSR analysis had a great potential to identify ornamental peach cultivars and estimate their phylogeny. The application of these molecular techniques may elucidate the hierarchy of ornamental peach taxa.

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The identity of heath-leaved cypress is controversial. In this study nucleotide sequences of nuclear ribosomal DNA were used to identify heath-leaved cypress (Chamaecyparis `Ericoides') species. Sixteen individuals were sampled representing the five species of Chamaecyparis, `Ericoides', and four other genera of Cupressaceae (Cupressus, Fokienia, Juniperus, and Thuja). The results placed `Ericoides' unequivocally to Chamaecyparis thyoides, supporting a conclusion derived from wood anatomy. This study supports the usefulness and integrity of using molecular data to identify the genetic affinity of cultivars that are morphologically different from the parent species.

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This study examined the use of random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) markers as a means to identify cultivars of petunia (Petunia hybrida Vilm) seedlings and cyclamen (Cyclamen persicum Mill.) seeds and to determine the genetic purity within cyclamen seeds. Bulked samples of six petunia and five cyclamen hybrid cultivars, respectively, produced consistent RAPD marker profiles. Evaluation of individual seeds from a single cyclamen hybrid produced polymorphic banding patterns that were attributed to genetic variability present in the female and male inbred parents. These results show that RAPD makers can be used to quickly assess the genetic purity of selected cultivars of these two flower seed crops.

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