A procedure for carotenoid analysis which has practical application to genetic and breeding research is outlined. It includes extraction, separation of total carotenoids by partition on a silica column into carotene and xanthophylls, and the separation of the carotene fraction into specific pigments using thin-layer chromatography. The relative concn of specific pigments in the carotene fraction was measured using a semi-quantitative technique: Four genetic lines of carrot and four tomato cultivars were analyzed. Wide differences between carrot lines were detected in total carotenoids and the relative concn of the various pigments. The tomato cultivars differed considerably in total carotenoids. The ratios of pigments (pigment pattern) of red tomato were almost identical to that of the red carrot cultivar, Kintoki.
The genetic control of root color and carotenoid synthesis in carrot, Daucus carota L., was studied using 3 carrot cultivars, Kintoki Heian Nagabuto, KHN: Kintoki Osaka, KOS: Kintoki Davis, KDA, and 1 inbred line (W93). Genetic models describing the inheritance of red roots in the F2 were tested in backcross and F3 progenies. In Kintoki cultivars the major pigment is lycopene; beta-carotene is present in smaller amounts; zeta-carotene, gamma-carotene and phytofluene were also detected. In W93 the main pigments are beta-carotene and alpha-carotene; zeta-carotene, gamma-carotene and phytofluene also are detected. The pigments were separated into carotene and carotenol fractions by partition column chromatography. The pigments in the carotene fraction were studied qualitatively and quantitatively by thin layer chromatography. Orange (W93) was dominant to red (KHN, KOS, KDA) in the F1 progeny. The F2 segregation indicated that at least 2 genes are responsible for the differences between orange and red. The segregation of F3, backcrosses, and other progenies revealed the existence of dominant red as well as dominant orange, supporting the digenic composition of F2 populations and indicating the locus with the dominant orange allele to be epistatic to the locus with the dominant red allele. The homozygous recessive would be orange also. The analysis of progenies from the crosses W93 × ‘Kintoki’ suggested a dominant gene for accumulation of alpha-carotene in W93 and a dominant gene for the accumulation of lycopene in ‘Kintoki’.
A technique is reported for studying quantitatively the variability in size and shape of carrot roots. The method uses 2 measuring devices which are modifications of an instrument reported earlier by Mack and Lachman. The devices measure variables associated with root size and shape accurately and rapidly. The raw data can be readily converted to more descriptive statistics. Applying the technique to cultivars representing the broad spectrum of variability in carrots, we obtained for each cultivar a numerical description of an average root. Converting the numerical variables into a graphic display resulted in a schematic drawing which describes each cultivar. The technique was applied similarly to describe seasonal changes in root size and shape within a cultivar. The potential use of the procedure for carrot research is indicated.
The form of N supplied to the plant (NH4+ or NO3–) affects growth, morphology and a range of physiological processes in the plant. Little information is available concerning the effects of N form on development, production or quality of cut-flowers. The present study investigated for the first time the effects of N form and quantity on growth, flower production and flower quality of Ranunculus asiaticus L. The plants were cultivated in an inert mineral soilless medium (perlite) and were exposed to two levels of nitrogen fertilization (50 or 100 ppm) and three levels of NH +4 (10%, 20%, or 30%, under 100 ppm nitrogen fertilization). Larger shoots and increased shoot/root ratios were obtained in the lowest (50 ppm) N treatment. This treatment also excelled in flower yield production, resulting in higher numbers of total flower produced as well as higher numbers of long flowers. The results demonstrate an effect of N ferlilization treatments on cut-flower quality. Flowers grown under 50 ppm N application characterized by almost double vase life duration compared to flowers grown under the various 100 ppm N treatments. However, flower quantity and quality were not affected by the level of NH4 applied. The R. asiaticus L. root was less sensitive to the N fertilization treatments than its shoot. Contents of organic N, NO –3, P, K, Ca, Mg, Na, Cl, Fe, Cu, Zn, B, and Mo in the leaves were not affected by the fertilization treatments. Taken together, our results suggest a low requirement of R. asiaticus L. for N fertilization, and insensitivity to ammonium concentrations in the range of 10 to 30 ppm, 10% to 30% of the total N supplied. Detrimental effects in terms of growth, production and cut flower quality were apparent already under 100 ppm N supply.