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Allan F. Brown, Elizabeth H. Jeffery, and John A. Juvik

A set of 216 polymerase chain reaction-based molecular markers was screened for polymorphisms using two morphologically dissimilar broccoli (Brassica oleracea L. ssp. italica Plenck) lines, ‘VI-158’ and ‘‘Brocolette Neri E. Cespuglio’. Fifty-nine of these simple sequence repeat (SSR) and sequence-related amplified polymorphic (SRAP) primer pairs generated 69 polymorphisms that were used to construct a linkage map of broccoli from a population of 162 F2:3 families derived from the cross between these two lines. Ten linkage groups were generated that spanned a distance of 468 cM with an average interval width of 9.4 cM. The map was used to identify quantitative trait loci (QTL) associated with differences in harvest date maturity and head weight in the population grown in the same location over 2 years. Heritability estimates for days to maturity and head weight were 0.84 and 0.64, respectively. Four QTL for harvest maturity were identified that described 55.6% of the phenotypic variation in the first year with two of these QTL also detected in the second year of the experiment that described 29.2% of the phenotypic variation. Five QTL were identified as associated with head weight in 1999 and accounted for 71.8% of the phenotypic variability. Two of these QTL accounted for 24% of the phenotypic variability in head weight in 2000. To our knowledge, this is the first linkage map of broccoli and the first combined SSR and SRAP map of B. oleracea, which should provide a useful tool for the genetic analysis of traits specific to ssp. italica.

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Gad G. Yousef, Mary A. Lila, Ivette Guzman, James R. Ballington, and Allan F. Brown

Blueberry (Vaccinium L. section Cyanococcus Gray), a rich source of polyphenolics with important implications for human health and chronic diseases, has become a major fruit commodity in the United States. This study was designed to assess the impact of introgression through interspecific hybridization on anthocyanin (ANC) profiles among blueberry species. Southern highbush blueberry (V. corymbosum L.) and rabbiteye blueberry (V. virgatum Ait.) commercial cultivars, North Carolina blueberry breeding selections, and blueberry breeding populations with varying degrees of introgression from multiple species were used to address this question. The breeding selections and populations were created and selected for traits not directly related to their ANC profiles and are therefore likely representative of the current selection objectives of most public and private breeding programs. Ripe fruit at a uniform stage of maturity were evaluated for ANC concentration and profile in 2 consecutive years (2010 and 2011) from all plants. Total ANC ranged from 189 to 464, 74 to 421, and 227 to 537 mg/100 g (frozen fruit) in the commercial cultivars, breeding selections, and breeding populations, respectively. Significant increases in total ANC were observed among material that represents an expanded gene pool in southern highbush blueberry (introgression from V. angustifolium Ait., V. elliottii Chap., V. myrsinites Lam., V. pallidum Ait., V. tenellum Ait., V. fuscatum Ait., V. constablaei Gray, and V. arboreum Mar.). Differences in acylation and glycosylation patterns were also observed in the same material, which may condition relative stability, absorption, and bioavailability of ANC. Results suggest that the expansion of the gene base through interspecific hybridization can have both a positive and negative impact on ANC accumulation and that breeders need to be aware of these issues early in the breeding program.

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Allan F. Brown, Gad G. Yousef, Ivette Guzman, Kranthi K. Chebrolu, Dennis J. Werner, Mike Parker, Ksenija Gasic, and Penelope Perkins-Veazie

The objective of this study was to examine the relative impact of genetics and environment on phenolic and carotenoid profiles in peach (Prunus persica) germplasm. Fully mature, (“ready-to-eat” stage) firm fruit of peach cultivars China Pearl, Contender, and Carolina Gold were collected from established trees at two North Carolina locations in 2009 and 2010. Advanced breeding selections NC Yellow and NC 97-48 were collected from a single location in both years. Using tandem extractions and chromatography analyses, 10 carotenoids and 24 phenolic compounds were quantified separately in the peel and flesh. Statistically significant differences were noted among peach cultivars and advanced selections for β-carotene, cyanidin-3-glucoside, cyanidin-3-rutinoside, cholorogenic acid, quercetin-3-glucoside, and individual procyanidins. Peel anthocyanin (ANC) concentration ranged from 183 mg/100 g in ‘Contender’ to non-detectable levels in NC97-48 and NC Yellow. ‘China Pearl’ and ‘Carolina Gold’ produced ANC levels approximately half of ‘Contender’. Chlorogenic acid concentration also fit a discrete pattern of accumulation but was not related to the accumulation of ANC. ‘China Pearl’, NC 97-48, and NC Yellow contained the highest levels of chlorogenic acid (105 to 136 mg/100 g), ‘Carolina Gold’ contained the lowest (52 mg/100 g), and ‘Contender’ represented an intermediate phenotype (70 mg/100 g). Statistically significant genetic variation was found for almost all compounds identified, whereas location and year effects tended to be compound-specific. For chlorogenic acid, 28% of the phenotypic variance was explained by location (year = nonsignificant), whereas 40% of the phenotypic variation of ANC was explained by differences in years (location = nonsignificant). Analyzing fruit from the same environment over 2 years or from two locations in the same year would not have adequately accounted for the variation associated with environment. The detailed phytochemical profile of peach reported here demonstrates the importance of multiyear, multilocation analysis in revealing accurate measures of phytochemical genetic variation and provides a comprehensive baseline analysis of phytochemicals in commonly grown peach cultivars that can be used to evaluate novel germplasm.

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Allan F. Brown, Gad G. Yousef, Elizabeth H. Jeffery, Barbara P. Klein, Mathew A. Wallig, Mosbah M. Kushad, and John A. Juvik

Ten broccoli [Brassica oleracea L. (Botrytis Group)] accessions were grown in several environments to estimate glucosinolate (GS) variability associated with genotype, environment, and genotype × environment interaction and to identify differences in the stability of GSs in broccoli florets. Significant differences in genetic variability were identified for aliphatic GSs but not for indolyl GSs. The percentage of GS variability attributable to genotype for individual aliphatic compounds ranged from 54.2% for glucoraphanin to 71.0% for progoitrin. For total indolyl GSs, the percentage of variability attributable to genotype was only 12%. Both qualitative and quantitative differences in GSs were detected among the genotypes. Ten-fold differences in progoitrin, glucoraphanin, and total aliphatic GS levels were observed between the highest and lowest genotypes. Only two lines, Eu8-1 and VI-158, produced aliphatic GSs other than glucoraphanin in appreciable amounts. Differences in stability of these compounds among the cultivars were also observed between fall and spring plantings. Results suggest that genetic factors necessary for altering the qualitative and quantitative aliphatic GS profiles are present within existing broccoli germplasm, which makes breeding for enhanced cancer chemoprotectant activity feasible.