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Hsiang-I Lee and Michael J. Havey

Hybrid onion (Allium cepa) seed is produced using cytoplasmic male sterility (CMS). For the most commonly used source of onion CMS, male fertile plants possess male sterile (S) cytoplasm and dominant allele(s) at one nuclear male fertility locus (Ms). Because male fertility restoration is not necessary for bulb production, it is desirable to purge dominant alleles at Ms from populations and breeding lines to facilitate the development of male sterile inbreds for hybrid production. In this research, we used molecular markers to establish the cytoplasms and genotypes at Ms in progenies from testcrosses of male sterile lines with plants from three populations [B2354, Ailsa Craig (AC), and Sapporo-Ki (Ski)] possessing the dominant Ms allele. We scored male fertility of testcross progenies by visual examination of flowers and acetocarmine staining of pollen. Different sources of the dominant Ms allele showed significantly different amounts of male fertility restoration and proportions of stainable pollen, complicating visual selection against the dominant Ms allele. For AC and Ski, molecular markers correctly predicted male sterility vs. male fertility of progenies in the greenhouse and field. However, for B2354, male fertility restoration was less clear and especially difficult to score under field conditions, consistent with reduced penetrance of male fertility restoration for this source of the dominant Ms allele. These results will be of interest to onion breeders selecting S-cytoplasmic male sterile lines for hybrid onion development.

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Chen-Yu Lin, Kan-Shu Chen, Hsuan-Ping Chen, Hsiang-I Lee and Ching-Hsiang Hsieh

This study investigated the effects of different temperature treatments (18, 24, and 30 °C) on apex development in tropical cauliflower cultivars of varying maturity types. Two commercial cultivars, H-37 (early maturity) and H-80 (mid–late maturity), were used as the testing materials. ‘H-37’ reached the curd-initiation phase earlier than ‘H-80’ and showed superior growth during the curd’s initial development phase under all temperature treatments. Analysis of variance revealed significant effects regarding main temperature and cultivar as well as their interaction. ‘H-37’ at a temperature of 18 °C demonstrated the optimal transformation of apex development from the vegetative to reproductive stage. A temperature of 24 °C promoted the apex development of ‘H-37’ at the curd initial development phase. Gene expression analysis results indicated that the BoFLC2 expression of ‘H-37’ was significantly down-regulated than that of ‘H-80’ after curd initiation and advanced growth. A temperature 30 °C accelerated the ending of juvenile stage and forward to curd initiation in ‘H-80’ and declined with temperature decreased. Moreover, expression of the BoFLC2 transcript level of both tropical cauliflower cultivars nearly disappeared at the high temperature of 30 °C following curd initiation, suggesting that heat stress hinders curd formation. The results of this study also indicate that the number of leaves required to induce curd initiation is less than nine in tropical cauliflower at temperatures of 18 to 30 °C. In conclusion, under nonvernalized high temperatures, different cultivars of tropical cauliflower can initiate curd development but with a different pattern from those cultivars grown in temperate zones. This information may provide novel insights for cauliflower farmers or breeders in tropical regions.