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M.J. Striem, G. Ben-Hayyim and P. Spiegel-Roy

Excluding seeded offspring at an early stage could be of great value to the breeder concerned with the development of seedless grapes (Vitis vinifera L.). We used the random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) technique to identify molecular genetic markers, analyzing 82 individuals of a progeny resulting from a cross between `Early Muscat' (seeded) and `Flame Seedless'. Seven variables representing the traits of seedlessness were analyzed: mean fresh weight of one seed, total fresh weight of seeds per berry, perception of seed content, seed size categories evaluated visually, degree of hardness of the seed coat, degree of development of the endosperm, and degree of development of the embryo. Among 160 10mer primers, 110 gave distinct band patterns. Twelve markers yielded significant correlations with several subtraits of seedlessness, mainly with the mean fresh weight of one seed and the total fresh weight of seeds per berry. Multiple linear regression analysis resulted in high coefficients, such as R = 0.779 for fresh weight of seeds per berry, when the seven markers were included as independent variables in the model. Most of the seeded individuals, about 44% of the progeny, could be excluded using a two-step process of marker assisted selection.

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P. Spiegel-Roy, S. Cohen, I. Baron, R. Assaf, S. Ben-A'haron and M.J. Striem