The genus Coreospsis is Florida’s state wildflower. One species, Coreopsis leavenworthii, is nearly endemic to Florida and is highly desirable for use in highway beautification. Maintaining genetic integrity is critical for C. leavenworthii producers, growers, and users. Coreopsis tinctoria is closely related to and shares similar habitats with C. leavenworthii in Florida. Previous studies indicated that the two species could hybridize and the F1 hybrids showed chromosomal aberrations and reduced pollen stainability. There has been strong concern that pollen-mediated gene flow from C. tinctoria could contaminate the gene pool and compromise the genetic integrity of C. leavenworthii. In the current study, hand pollination showed that C. leavenworthii and C. tinctoria were highly compatible. F1 hybrids were fertile and readily produced F2 and BC1 individuals. Inheritance studies indicated that the maroon spot on the ray flower is controlled by a single dominant allele and is homozygous in C. tinctoria. This spot serves as a reliable, easy-to-score morphological marker to detect pollen-mediated gene flow from C. tinctoria to C. leavenworthii. Following a discontinuous design, gene flow studies were conducted under field conditions in central Florida over 2 years. The highest rate of pollen-mediated gene flow from C. tinctoria to C. leavenworthii was 4.2% and occurred when the two species were grown 1.5 m apart. Gene flow from C. tinctoria to C. leavenworthii under field conditions followed a leptokurtic curve. Based on the obtained regression equation, separating the two species by 60 m or more could lower the pollen-mediated gene flow from C. tinctoria to minimal levels and protect the genetic integrity of C. leavenworthii.
Sarah M. Smith and Zhanao Deng
The genus Coreopsis L. is Florida’s state wildflower; there is a strong interest in commercial production and large-scale planting of Coreopsis seed in Florida, especially the seed of Coreopsis leavenworthi Torr. & A. Gray (COLE) and Coreopsis tinctoria Nutt. (COTI). Both species belong to the same section [Calliopsis (Reichenb.) Nutt.] within Coreopsis and were known to be cross-compatible and produce interspecific hybrids when hand-pollinated or grown in close proximity. Little was known about the effects of such hybridization on progeny growth, development, and reproduction, which are very important to seed production and planting. F1 and F2 interspecific populations between COLE and COTI were created in the greenhouse and then evaluated in replicated field studies in two growing seasons. Results showed that interspecific hybridization between COLE (as the maternal parent) and COTI (as the paternal parent) significantly increased the plant height (by 11.4% to 18.7%), plant dry weight (by 38.6% to 63.9%), and time to flower (by 3.7 to 9.8 days) of the F1 and F2 progeny of COLE × COTI crosses. By contrast, interspecific hybridization between COTI (as the maternal parent) and COLE (as the paternal parent) did not cause significant changes in these characteristics of the F1 and F2 progeny of COTI × COLE crosses. The differences between the two species in responding to interspecific hybridization suggest that COTI played a more dominant role in controlling plant height, dry weight, and time to flower in its hybrids with COLE. Results pooled from all F1 or F2 progeny of reciprocal interspecific crosses showed that interspecific hybridization did not seem to affect the plant height and seedling emergence of F1 and F2 progeny but affected the dry weight, time to flower, pollen stainability, and seed production (per seed head) of these progeny. Heterosis was observed in the time to flower of F1 progeny in 2009. Heterosis was also evident in F1 progeny’s dry weight but followed with slight hybrid breakdown in F2 progeny. Pollen stainability and seed production both showed significant breakdown in F1 and F2 progeny: 53.3% to 81.1% reduction in pollen stainability and 12.6% to 38.2% reduction in seed production, respectively. Chromosome mispairing resulting from reported reciprocal translocations between the chromosomes of COLE and COTI might be the primary cause of low pollen stainability and seed production in F1 and F2 progeny. Maternal effects were detected in plant height and dry weight of F1 and F2 progeny. These results showed that interspecific hybridization between COLE and COTI would result in deleterious effects to both species; thus, it is very important to prevent cross-pollination and hybridization between them in commercial seed production and native plantings.
Sarah M. Smith, John W. Scott and Jerry A. Bartz
When tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.) fruit come in contact with water at the packing house dump tanks, they can infiltrate water through the stem scar. If the water is infested with Erwinia carotovora, the fruit can infiltrate the bacteria, which will later develop into bacterial soft rot. To determine the inheritance of low water infiltration and thus tolerance to soft rot, a complete diallel was produced using six parents that infiltrate different amounts of water. The parents and hybrids were grown in a completely randomized block design with three blocks and 10 plants per block. The amount of water infiltrated by the fruit was measured by the change in weight after the fruit were immersed in water in a pressure cooker for 2 min. Both general combining ability (GCA) and specific combining ability (SCA) were significant, with GCA having a higher significance than SCA. There appeared to be a cytoplasmic effect on water uptake, where less water was taken up when the low-uptake parent was used as a female. When orthogonal contrasts were performed on reciprocal hybrids from parents that were significantly different, 33% of them were significantly different.