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  • Author or Editor: Jennifer Lewter x
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Muscadine (Vitis rotundifolia Michx.) vines may be male (M), female (F), or hermaphroditic (H). Male flowers have only filaments and anthers, whereas female and hermaphroditic flowers are morphologically perfect. Female flowers are distinguished from hermaphroditic flowers by their reflexed stamens (as opposed to upright) and nonfunctional pollen. Primers derived from previously identified candidate genes located at the sex locus of Vitis vinifera L. were used to generate amplicons from M, F, and H muscadine cultivars. Sequence analysis of the amplicons revealed insertion/deletion (indel) polymorphisms in a trehalose-6-phosphate phosphatase (TPP) gene (VR006) and a WRKY transcription factor 21 gene (VR009). Primers were designed to create diagnostic markers for each indel polymorphism. Associations between the marker alleles and the plant sex trait were examined in a wide range of muscadine germplasm and in segregating populations derived from F × H, F × M, and H × H crosses. VR006 produced a codominant marker that was able to differentiate the female-associated allele from the male- and hermaphroditic-associated alleles. The marker was able to detect female plants and will be suitable for screening breeding program progenies. VR009 was able to detect the presence of the female allele in most germplasm, but a crossover event appears to have separated the marker from the sex locus in some germplasm. As shown in previous muscadine genetic studies, H × H-derived populations produced male seedlings. Marker analysis of these populations indicates that male flowers only occur in seedlings which are heterozygous for F- and H-associated marker alleles and inheritance of flower type in muscadine remains unclear.

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