A genetic linkage map was created from 146 cacao trees (Theobroma cacao), using an F2 population produced by selfing an F1 progeny of the cross Sca6 and ICS1. Simple sequence repeat (SSR) markers (170) were used principally for this map, with 12 candidate genes [eight resistance gene homologues (RGH) and four stress related WRKY genes], for a total of 182 markers. Joinmap software was used to create the map, and 10 linkage groups were clearly obtained, corresponding to the 10 known chromosomes of cacao. Our map encompassed 671.9 cM, approximately 100 cM less than most previously reported cacao maps, and 213.5 cM less than the one reported high-density map. Approximately 27% of the markers showed significant segregation distortion, mapping together in six genomic areas, four of which also showed distortion in other cacao maps. Two quantitative trait loci (QTL) for resistance to witches' broom disease were found, one producing a major effect and one a minor effect, both showing important dominance effects. One QTL for trunk diameter was found at a point 10.2 cM away from the stronger resistance gene. One RGH flanked the minor QTL for witches' broom resistance, implying possible association. QTLs mapped in F2 populations produce estimates of additive and dominance effects, not obtainable in F1 crosses. As dominance was clearly shown in the QTL found in this study, this population merits further study for evaluation of dominance effects for other traits. This F2 cacao population constitutes a useful link for genomic studies between cacao and cotton, its only widely grown agronomic relative.
J. Steven Brown, R.J. Schnell, J.C. Motamayor, Uilson Lopes, David N. Kuhn and James W. Borrone
James W. Borrone, Cecile T. Olano, David N. Kuhn, J. Steven Brown, Raymond J. Schnell and Helen A. Violi
Avocado (Persea americana Mill.) possesses a unique flowering mechanism, thought to promote out-crossing, in which the male and female parts of the perfect flower function at different time periods. Cultivars are classified as Flowering Type A, where flowers are functionally female the morning of one day and functionally male the afternoon of the next day, or Flowering Type B, where flowers are functionally female in the afternoon and functionally male the next morning. Avocado growers typically interplant cultivars of opposite flowering types to maximize yield. Recently, it has been hypothesized that 90% to 95% of avocado flowers are self-pollinated in southern Florida. However, this hypothesis does not address whether mature, marketable avocado fruit in Florida are the result of outcrossing. To determine whether avocado fruit in southern Florida result from self-pollination or outcrossing, fruit were harvested from a commercial orchard in Miami-Dade County, Florida, from a block consisting of two cultivars, Simmonds (Flowering Type A) and Tonnage (Flowering Type B), interplanted in approximately equal numbers. Seeds were germinated and the resulting progeny were genotyped using eight fully informative, microsatellite markers. Seventy-four percent of the ‘Simmonds’ progeny and 96% of the ‘Tonnage’ progeny were judged to be the result of cross-pollination, with an estimated overall outcrossing rate of 63% to 85% within this particular block of the orchard. Seedlings judged to be the result of cross-pollinations between ‘Simmonds’ and ‘Tonnage’ are being maintained at the U.S. Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Research Service, Subtropical Horticulture Research Station and are being evaluated for segregation of important agronomic and horticultural traits.