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Santiago Vilanova, Carlos Romero, Gerardo Llácer, María Luisa Badenes, and Lorenzo Burgos

This report shows the PCR-based identification of the eight known self-(in)compatibility alleles (S 1 to S 7 and S c) of apricot (Prunus armeniaca L.). Two sets of consensus primers, designed from P. armeniaca S-RNase genomic sequences and sweet cherry (P. avium L.) S-RNase-cDNAs, were used to amplify fragments containing the first and the second S-RNase intron, respectively. When the results obtained from the two PCRs were combined, all S-alleles could be distinguished. The identity of the amplified S-alleles was verified by sequencing the first intron and 135 base pairs (bp) of the second exon. The deduced amino acid sequences of these fragments showed the presence of the C1 and C2 Prunus L. S-RNase conserved regions. These results allowed us to confirm S-genotypes previously assigned by stylar ribonuclease analyses and to propose one self-(in)compatibility group (I) and one universal donor group (O) containing unique S-genotypes and self-compatible cultivars (SC). This PCR-based typing system also facilitates the identification of the S c-allele and might be a very useful tool for predicting self-compatibility in apricot breeding progenies.

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Carmina Gisbert, Judith M. Dumm, Jaime Prohens, Santiago Vilanova, and John R. Stommel

We identified a single plant in a grow out of the eggplant (Solanum melongena L.) variety ‘Black Beauty’ bearing green fruit. ‘Black Beauty’ normally produces violet/black pigmented fruit attributed to anthocyanin accumulation. We selected the green-fruited true-breeding genotype E13GB42 from the S2 generation obtained from selfing of the S0 green-fruited color mutant. Characterization of 12 simple sequence repeat (SSR) markers, eight fruit morphological attributes and fruit yield support E13GB42 arising as a spontaneous mutant of ‘Black Beauty’. With the exception of fruit calyx prickliness, E13GB42 was not significantly different from ‘Black Beauty’ for fruit morphological attributes and yield. E13GB42 exhibited an SSR marker profile identical to that of ‘Black Beauty’ but polymorphic with that of eight violet/black-fruited modern eggplant hybrids, older open-pollinated varieties and landraces. Transcript levels of key anthocyanin biosynthetic genes (Chs, Dfr, and Ans) and regulatory genes (Myb C, Myc, and Wd) were significantly lower in the green-fruited E13GB42 mutant in comparison with the black-fruited variety ‘Black Beauty’ at various stages of fruit development ranging from small post-anthesis fruit to full-size marketable fruit. Progeny obtained from selfing of the original mutant and reciprocal crosses with ‘Black Beauty’ produced violet, green, and green with violet striped color classes that together were not compatible with one or two gene inheritance models, suggesting that the mutation responsible for the E13GB42 phenotype influences multiple genetic factors that control fruit pigmentation.

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Mariola Plazas, Santiago Vilanova, Pietro Gramazio, Adrián Rodríguez-Burruezo, Ana Fita, Francisco J. Herraiz, Rajakapasha Ranil, Ramya Fonseka, Lahiru Niran, Hemal Fonseka, Brice Kouassi, Abou Kouassi, Auguste Kouassi, and Jaime Prohens

Wild relatives represent a source of variation for many traits of interest for eggplant (Solanum melongena) breeding, as well as for broadening the genetic base of this crop. However, interspecific hybridization with wild relatives has been barely used in eggplant breeding programs. As initiation of an introgression breeding program we performed 1424 interspecific hybridizations between six accessions of eggplant from the Occidental and Oriental groups and 19 accessions of 12 wild species from the primary (Solanum incanum and Solanum insanum), secondary (Solanum anguivi, Solanum dasyphyllum, Solanum lichtensteinii, Solanum linnaeanum, Solanum pyracanthos, Solanum tomentosum, and Solanum violaceum), and tertiary (Solanum elaeagnifolium, Solanum sisymbriifolium, and Solanum torvum) genepools. Fruit set, hybrid seed, and seed germination were obtained between Solanum melongena and all wild species of the primary and secondary genepools. The highest fruit set percentage and quantity of seeds per fruit were obtained with the two primary genepool species S. incanum and S. insanum as well as with some secondary genepool species, like S. anguivi, S. dasyphyllum, or S. lichtensteinii, although some differences among species were observed depending on the direction of the hybridization. For small-fruited wild species, the number of seeds per fruit was lower when using them as maternal parent. Regarding tertiary genepool species, fruit set was obtained only in interspecific hybridizations of eggplant with S. sisymbriifolium and S. torvum, although the fruit of the former were parthenocarpic. However, it was possible to rescue viable interspecific hybrids with S. torvum. In total we obtained 58 interspecific hybrid combinations (excluding reciprocals) between eggplant and wild relatives. Some differences were observed among S. melongena accessions in the degree of success of interspecific hybridization, so that the number of hybrid combinations obtained for each accession ranged between 7 (MEL2) and 16 (MEL1). Hybridity of putative interspecific hybrid plantlets was confirmed with a morphological trait (leaf prickliness) and 12 single nucleotide polymorphism markers. The results show that eggplant is amenable to interspecific hybridization with a large number of wild species, including tertiary genepool materials. These hybrid materials are the starting point for introgression breeding in eggplant and in some cases might also be useful as rootstocks for eggplant grafting.