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  • Author or Editor: August C. Gabert x
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The firmness of parthenocarpic (P) pickling cucumber cultivars is generally considered unacceptable for processing by the US pickling cucumber industry. Genetic improvement in firmness of P pickling cucumbers may increase their acceptability. Inheritance of fruit firmness (FF) in nonparthenocarpic (NP) cucumbers has been reported as quantitative but highly heritable with additive gene effects accounting for most of the genetic variation and no maternal effects. Genetic investigations were conducted at Brooks, Oregon, in 1992 and 1993 to determine the inheritance of FF in P cucumbers. High heritability for FF was found with most genetic variance attributed to additive gene effects when F1's from four P gynoecious inbreds as females and five NP monecious inbreds as males were used in 1992. Experiments in 1993, with inbred derived populations, revealed that dominant variance and maternal effects for FF may be substantial in certain populations with parthenocarpic germplasm.

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A new sterile mutant designated pollen sterile (PS) found in pickling cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.) is characterized by normal corolla in staminate and pistillate flowers, normal fertility in the female, and absence of pollen in otherwise normal-appearing staminate flowers. All F1 plants from PS × male fertile (MF) sib-matings were MF, and F2 progeny segregated 3 MF: 1 PS. Sib-matings of PS segregates with sister MF segregates produced either 1 MF: 1 PS ratios or all normal plants. Thus, PS is controlled by a single recessive gene. The PS gene is not allelic to apetalous (ap), but was shown to be allelic to male sterile-2 (ms-2) and is designated ms-2 PS. It was not possible to determine possible allelic relationships between ms-2 PS and ms-1 because of strong male and female sterility of the available ms-1 material. F1 generations from gynoecious-PS and monoecious-PS crossed with monoecious, gynoecious (silver-ion treated), and hermaphroditic parents produced no PS plants and sex types did not influence PS levels in F2 progenies, indicating it is not possible to maintain the PS mutants through crosses with different cucumber sex types. It was not possible to change the expression of PS by applying cytokinin, IAA, or GA3, and there were no changes in response to temperature and fertilizer treatment. Unlike gynoecy, which is responsive to some external factors, PS is unresponsive. The results suggest that the use of PS in cucumber F1 hybrid seed production is not practical. Chemical names used: indole acetic acid (IAA), gibberellin (GA3).

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Monoecious cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.) parents with high, medium, and low percentage of nodes with distillate flowers had a stronger effect on the percentage of gynoecious plants in F1 and F2 progenies than did degree of gynoecious expression in incompletely gynoecious parents. Highest percentages of gynoecious plants were obtained by using both gynoecious and monoecious parents with the highest level of distillate flowering tendency. According to our data, monoecious parents with a low percentage of distillate flowering nodes should be avoided when gynoeciousness is transferred to monoecious cultivars. Self-pollination of gynoecious F2 plants, requiring induction of staminate flowers by chemical treatment, was more effective in obtaining a high percentage of gynoecious plants in F3 progenies than selfing predominately gynoecious plants, or sibmating predominately gynoecious plants.

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