Native muscadines (Vitis rotundifolia Michx.) are dioecious, but muscadine vineyards are usually planted with a mixture of female plants and hermaphroditic pollenizers. Hermaphroditic cultivars are derived from either of two separate sources original hermaphroditic plants, H1 or H2. Nine hermaphroditic and two female cultivars were studied to determine their potential as pollenizers. Inflorescences of each cultivar were collected in the field to evaluate the number of anthers per flower, the number of pollen grains per anther, and pollen viability and germination in the main and secondary flowering periods. The number of flower clusters per shoot ranged from one to four with most producing two or three flower clusters per shoot. The number of anthers per flower varied by cultivar and cluster position, but in general was between six and eight anthers per flower. ‘Noble’ showed the highest pollen grains production per anther and per flower, reaching 5777 and 39,860, respectively, in the first cluster and ‘Carlos’ produced the least amount of pollen. All cultivars that had secondary flowering showed lower pollen production per anther and per flower as compared with the main flowering period. Optimal muscadine pollen germination media contained 50 mg·L−1 boric acid, 145 mg·L−1 calcium nitrate, 188 g·L−1 sucrose, 10 g·L−1 agar, and 10 mm 2-(N-morpholino)ethanesulfonic acid (MES) pH 6.0. The pollen grain viability of hermaphroditic and female cultivars was high, but pollen grain germination was low in hermaphroditic cultivars and absent in female cultivars. H1-derived cultivars produced more flower buds per cluster and higher germination rates than H2-derived cultivars, indicating they may be better pollenizers. Chemical names used: 2-(N-morpholino)ethanesulfonic acid (MES).
Luiz A. Biasi and Patrick J. Conner
Patrick Conner, Joann Conner, Paige Catotti, Jennifer Lewter, John R. Clark and Luiz A. Biasi
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.