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Frank Suozhan Cheng and Mikeal L. Roose

`Flying Dragon' Poncirus trifoliata L. Raf. is a dwarfing rootstock for citrus. Inheritance of dwarfing ability was studied in a population of open-pollinated seedlings of `Flying Dragon'. Molecular marker genotypes suggest that all seedlings originated from selfing. Progeny seedlings were budded with `Cutter Valencia' orange and planted in the field to evaluate the dwarfing effect of the seedling rootstock. At 5 years after planting, rankit analysis of the frequency distributions of trunk cross-sectional area and canopy volume suggested the presence of two overlapping distributions of 34 dwarf trees and 7 nondwarf. This ratio is consistent with inheritance of rootstock dwarfing as a single dominant gene for which `Flying Dragon' is heterozygous. Two morphological characteristics of `Flying Dragon', curved thorns and twisted trunk growth, were closely linked to, or pleiotropic effects of, the dwarfing gene. Bulked segregant analysis was used to identify three RAPD markers linked to the dwarfing gene. `Flying Dragon' was identical to nondwarfing cultivars of trifoliate orange at 40 homozygous and heterozygous isozyme and RFLP markers; therefore, it is likely that `Flying Dragon' originated as a mutant of a nondwarfing genotype and has not undergone sexual recombination since this event.

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Mikeal L. Roose, Frank Suozhan Cheng, and Claire T. Federici

The `Flying Dragon' cultivar of Poncirus trifoliata L. Raf. is a strongly dwarfing rootstock for Citrus cultivars, reducing canopy volume of 9 year-old `Valencia' orange trees to 1/3 that of trees on standard rootstocks Open-pollinated seed of `Flying Dragon' was screened with isozyme markers to distinguish zygotic from nucellar (apomictic) seedlings. All zygotics had genotypes consistent with an origin by self-pollination. Zygotic seedlings were budded with `Valencia' orange scion and planted in the field. Of 46 progeny evaluated as rootstocks, 35 produced small trees similar to those on nucellar `Flying Dragon' and 11 produced large trees. This ratio is consistent with the 3:1 segregation expected for a single dominant gene. The dwarfing gene was closely linked, or pleiotropic with a gene causing curved thorns and stems. Several RAPD markers close to the dwarfing gene were identified with bulked segregant analysis. `Flying Dragon' apparently originated as a mutation because it had au identical genotype to non-dwarfing strains of trifoliate orange at all 38 isozyme and RFLP markers tested