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  • Author or Editor: S.R. King x
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Ethylene production from florets of `Shogun' harvested broccoli (Brassica oleracea L.var. italica) held at 20C in darkness increased as the sepal tissues yellowed. The pattern of respiration rate and ethylene production from branchlets or entire heads was similar, although the magnitude of ethylene and carbon dioxide production appeared to be diluted by the other fleshy stem tissues. The reproductive structures, stamens and pistil, may have a role in determining the rate of sepal degreening, since removing them from florets reduced the yellowing rate. The pistil and stamens also had 7-fold higher levels of 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylic acid (ACC) oxidase activity and more than double the ethylene production of other tissues within the floret. Stamen ACC oxidase activity was high on the first day after harvest, before yellowing became obvious. Changes in ACC oxidase activity of the pistil and stamens mirrored changes in ACC content in these tissues. The climacteric status of harvested broccoli was confirmed by exposure to 0.5% propylene. Propylene stimulated respiration and ethylene production and accelerated yellowing (measured as chlorophyll and hue-angle decline). Broccoli tissues did not respond to propylene immediately after harvest. In tissues aged in air before treatment, the time for response to propylene was shorter, a result suggesting a change in tissue sensitivity. Ethylene exposure induced a dose-dependent decline in hue angle, with 1 ppm ethylene giving the maximum response.

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A genetic linkage map was constructed for watermelon based on a testcross population and an F2 population. The testcross map includes 312 markers (RAPD, ISSR, AFLP, SSR, and ASRP). This map covered a genetic distance of 1385 cM, and identified 11 large (50.7-155.2 cm), five intermediate (37.5-46.2 cm), and 16 small linkage groups (4.2-31.4 cm). Most AFLP markers are clustered in two linkage regions, while all other markers are randomly dispersed throughout the genome. Many of the markers in this study were skewed from the classical (Mendelian) segregation ratio of 1:1 in the testcross or 3:1 in the F2 population. The order of the markers within linkage groups was similar in the testcross and F2 populations. Additionally, a cDNA library was constructed using RNA isolated from watermelon flesh 1 week (rapid cell division stage), 2 weeks (cell growth and storage deposition stage), 4 weeks (maturation stage), and 5 weeks (mature fruit) after pollination. More than 1020 cDNA clones were sequenced, and analyzed using the basic local alignment search Tool (BLAST). The sequenced cDNA clones were designated as expressed sequenced tag (EST). The ESTs were searched for simple sequence repeats. About 7% of the ESTs contained SSR motifs. The ESTs containing SSRs are being used to design PCR primers and the putative markers are being tested for polymorphism among the parental lines of the mapping populations. Polymorphic markers will then be mapped using the mapping populations.

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