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Hamid Ahmadi and Royce S. Bringhurst

Two groups of Fragaria decaploid (2n = 70, x = 7) breeding populations were studied. The first was derived from pentaploid (2n = 35) and hexaploid (2n = 42) natural or synethetic interspecific hybrids between octoploid (2n = 56) F. chiloensis (L.) Duch. or F. virginiana Duch. both from California, and various Fragaria diploids (2n = 14). Their chromosome number was doubled with colchicine or through the naturally generated unreduced gametes. They were selfed repetitively, intercrossed, and open pollinated. Gametic viability of the hermaphroditic and female decaploid hybrids exceeded 50%. The hybrids exhibited heterosis for runner production and vegetative vigor. Fragaria chiloensis bred for large fruit and desirable fruit qualities, and, in combination with diploids F. vesca L. and F. viridis Duch., resulted in hybrids that produced a single early spring crop and prolific runner production throughout the summer. Fragaria virginiana L. derivatives were characterized by high pollen fertility, and by day neutrality (photo-insensitivity). Together, they may contribute genes for adaptation to various regions and climates of the world and for pest and disease resistance. The second and most important group of decaploids involved here were those derived from hybrids between day-neutral octoploid cultivars (F. ×ananassa) crossed to F. vesca or F. viridis. This group of decaploids combined the genomes of the best octoploid cultivars with those of the above diploid species: facilitating the incorporation of genes responsible for high yield, day neutrality, and excellent fruit quality into the decaploid strawberries.

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Ellen G. Sutter and Hamid Ahmadi

Somatic embryos of Juglans regia transformed with Agrobacterium rhizogenes Rol B gene and non-transgenic lines were proliferated on basal DKW medium. They were then transferred to media containing different concentrations of ABA, IBA and BA to increase the rate of proliferation and maturation. Transgenic embryos required 50 μM ABA and 40 μM IBA whereas non-transgenic embryos required 40μM ABA and 10 μM IBA. Neither kind of embryos required BA. Roots were. induced by drying embryos at 75% for 2-3 weeks until they lost about 30% fresh weight and then transferring them to basal DKW medium for an additional 2 weeks in the dark. Over 50% of the somatic embryos grown on medium containing both ABA and IBA developed well defined root systems compared to less than 15% of embryos grown on basal medium. A combination of 27 μM GA, and 9 μM BA was needed for development of shoot systems and germination of both transgenic and non-transgenic rooted embryos. Anatomical studies followed to characterize the extent of development at each stage.

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Hamid Ahmadi, Royce S. Bringhurst, and Victor Voth

Genetic analysis of day-neutral (photo-insensitive) cultivars and their derivatives hybridized to standard short-day clones of octoploid strawberries [Fragaria × ananassa Duchn., F. chiloensis (L.) Duchn., and F. virginiana glauca Staudt., x = 7, 2n = 56] revealed that photo-insensitivity is controlled by a single dominant allele of a Mendelian gene. The dominant genetic trait is expressed in hybrids with other Fragaria spp. Intergeneric hybrids of day-neutral Fragaria and short-day Potentilla glandulosa L. and P. fruticosa L. also express photo-insensitivity. The day-neutral genes in European perpetual flowering (photo-insensitive) diploid `Alpine' F. vesca (2N = 14) apparently have evolved independently, since photo-insensitivity is recessive to photo-sensitivity. Native California diploid F. vesca have diverged considerably from European F. vesca. No photo-insensitive diploids have been found among them. Photo-sensitivity in native California F. vesca is controlled by three dominant genes. The origins of day-neutral cultivars of F. × ananassa and the classification of day-neutrality are discussed.

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Sandra L. Uratsu, Hamid Ahmadi, Royce S. Bringhurst, and Abhaya M. Dandekar

Several strains of Agrobacterium tumefaciens and A. rhizogenes were shown to form tumors on runners of the diploid strawberry species Fragaria vesca L. Tumors, weighing from 0.1 to 8.3 mg, appeared from 2 to 4.5 weeks after infection. The majority of tumors tested for opine synthesis by high-voltage paper electrophoresis analysis showed positive results. These results demonstrate that diploid strawberry plants are susceptible to infection with Agrobacterium and that there are differences in the relative virulence of Agrobacterium strains.

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Cindy Tong, Darryl Krueger, Zata Vickers, David Bedford, James Luby, Ahmed El-Shiekh, Kenneth Shackel, and Hamid Ahmadi

Many studies of apple (Malus ×domestica Borkh.) softening have been done using cultivars that eventually become mealy. We wanted to determine whether observations in these studies would be seen in a cultivar that maintains its crispness. In this paper, we compared the texture, ultrastructure, and some physiological parameters of Honeycrisp, an apple cultivar introduced in 1991 by the Minnesota Agricultural Experiment Station, with its parents and Delicious. Sensory evaluations and instrumental texture measurements showed that `Honeycrisp' maintained a crisp texture from harvest through 6 months of cold storage, whereas its parents, `Macoun' and `Honeygold', softened over the same time period. Turgor potential, cell wall composition, and ultrastructural comparisons of the fruit were made. Cell turgor potentials of `Honeycrisp' and `Delicious' were similar and greater than those of `Macoun' and `Honeygold', and clearly correlated with firmness. There were no differences in cell wall neutral sugar composition, except for arabinose, which was not highly correlated with crispness. `Honeycrisp' fruit maintained cell wall integrity after 6 months of storage, while cell walls of `Macoun' and `Honeygold' deteriorated. These data show that it is important to compare more than one cultivar when studying crispness. Honeycrisp is a cultivar that maintains its crispness through long storage without controlled atmosphere conditions. After 6 months of storage, this crispness can be attributed to a maintenance of high turgor potential and cell wall integrity.