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  • Author or Editor: John D. Hewitt x
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An interspecific hybrid was made between an accession of Lycopersicon cheesmanii f. minor Riley (LA 1508) from the Galapagos Islands, Ecuador, and L. pennellii (Corr.) D'Arcy (LA 716). LA 1508 was used because of its high soluble solids content (SSC). It was crossed with LA 716 to test for linkage between isozymes and morphological markers and loci conditioning high SSC. For both accessions, chromosome numbers are equal and there are large differences between SSC and no barriers to crossing. Modified BC1 populations derived from the hybridization were assayed for isozyme markers using starch gel electrophoresis. Associations between marker loci and quantitative-trait loci (QTL) conditioning high SSC were determined using analysis of variance. Six isozymes located on five chromosomes and one morphological marker had significant associations with SSC, indicating linkage to QTL. Digenic epistatic interactions between pairs of independent markers did not appear to play an important role in the interactions between QTL that condition SSC.

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A study using Lycopersicon cheesmanii Riley LA 1449 (typicum), a low soluble solids content (SSC) accession, and L. cheesmanii f. minor LA 528 (minor), a high SSC accession, was undertaken to characterize the accumulation of starch, sugar, and total SSC. Fruit of each accession was sampled throughout development to identify differences in SSC, starch accumulation, and sugar distribution. Osmetric analysis indicated that the minor race had higher SSC content throughout the ontogeny of fruit development than the typicum. Typicum contained more starch than minor, and both accessions showed a rapid decline in percent starch as the fruit ripened. Sucrose remained low throughout all stages of fruit development for both accessions. Glucose increased in the minor and declined in the typicum. Fructose increased in both accessions. Total reducing sugar content at the full ripe stage was higher in minor than the typicum.

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Osmotic priming of seed was evaluated as a means of improving stand establishment, early seedling growth, and yield of processing tomatoes (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill. cvs. UC204 and 6203). Seeds were primed in aerated solutions of 3% KNO3 (w/v) or of polyethylene glycol 8000 (PEG) of equivalent osmotic potential (-1.25 MPa; 314 g-kg−1 of water) at 20°C for 7 days, rinsed, and dried in forced air at 30°. Under laboratory conditions, seeds primed in either osmoticum germinated more rapidly than untreated seeds at 20° and 30°. At 10°, the PEG treatment was of little benefit for either variety, while the KN03 treatment still reduced the time to 50% germination to 60% to 80% of the control value. Priming did not affect the final germination percentage. Seedling emergence in the field was evaluated in March and April planting dates. In both trials, seedlings from primed seeds emerged earlier and more uniformly than seedlings from untreated seeds. Seedlings from primed seeds maintained greater mean plant dry weights, leaf areas, and ground cover percentages than untreated seedlings throughout the preflowering period. This advantage was due entirely to early emergence rather than to an increased relative growth rate. The early growth advantage from seed priming did not improve earliness of maturity, total yield, or soluble solids content of fruit.

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