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Unaroj Boonprakob and David H. Byrne

Diploid plums such as Prunus salicina, P. simonii, P. cerasifera, P. americana, P. angustifolia, P. mexicana, and their hybrids have a high level of RAPD polymorphisms. Of 71 successfully used primers, there are 417 reproducible RAPD markers and only 55 (13%) markers are not polymorphic. Genetic relationships of these diploid plums based on RAPD data is estimated using genetic distance (GD) defined as GDij = 1 – Sij, where Sij is similarity coefficient. Two similarity coefficients, Jaccard's and simple matching coefficient, are compared. Simple matching always yields higher similarity coefficients. Genetic distance within and between each gene pool: California, southeastern U.S., foreign, is estimated. Genetic distances of these diploid plums ranged from 0.32 to 0.68, and agreed well with the natural geographic distribution of the species. The cluster analysis using unweighted pair-group methods using arithmetic averages (UPGMA) was used to construct phenograms to summarize the relationships among these cultivated diploid plums and plum species.

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Unaroj Boonprakob and D.H. Byrne

Blind nodes in peach, the condition in which a node has no obvious vegetative or reproductive buds, is a problem in peach production in low and medium chill regions. Observations were made at 3 locations in Texas on peach cultivars which range in chilling requirement from 150 to 850 chill units. Four types of growing shoots (terminal or lateral shoot and east or west side) from peripheral canopy about 150-200 cm were sampled twice a month to determine the phonological development. Blind bud development was most frequent during the period of highest daily temperature and did not correspond with the position of the sample on a tree. High chilling cultivars showed greater susceptibility to the symptoms than low chilling cultivars. The anatomical differences between normal and blind nodes are described.

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Unaroj Boonprakob and David H. Byrne

Six controlled crosses of cultivated and advanced selection Japanese-type plums adapted to southeast and southwest regions of the United States were made in 1990 and 1991. Over 800 seedlings from these crosses along with open pollinated seedlings of the parents were established in Suiting nurseries. The long range objective of this study is to determine linkage relationships between RAPD markers and commercially important traits (soluble solid, resistance to bacterial leaf spot, chilling requirement, fruit development period). The first step in the projects to characterize RAPD genotypes in the progenies. Eighty oligodecamers have been screened and 57 yielded successful reactions with an average of two to three bands per primer. The variability and inheritance of the RAPD markers in these plum populations will be described.

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David H. Byrne and Unaroj Boonprakob

The Thai Tiger series of low-chill peaches are being released for use in subtropical or tropical highland regions and particularly for use in the northern highlands of Thailand to expand the harvest season of the present low-chill variety grown, ‘EarliGrande’. The Thai Tiger series are yellow-fleshed acid-sweet peach varieties that produce excellent yields of firm peaches and will allow a continuous harvest from early April until early May in the northern highlands of Thailand.

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Darunee Thawornchareon, Unaroj Boonprakob, and Kriengsak Thaipong

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Unaroj Boonprakob, David H. Byrne, and Dale M.J. Mueller

Actively growing shoots of peach [Prunus persica (L.) Batsch] were collected every 2 weeks throughout the 1989 growing season. The samples were sectioned longitudinally and transversely to observe axillary bud initiation, which occurred in all samples collected. Differentiation of axillary bud meristems from early season samples (mostly normal nodes) included apical and prophyll formation, with procambium connected to the stem procambium. Little to no differentiation of such structures occurred in the late-season samples (mostly blind nodes). Other results suggest that blind node formation is a consequence of a lack of bud differentiation rather than a failure of bud initiation.

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Unaroj Boonprakob, David H. Byrne, Charles J. Graham, W.R. Okie, Thomas Beckman, and Brian R. Smith

Diploid plums (Prunus L. sp.) and their progenitor species were characterized for randomly amplified polymorphic DNA polymorphisms. Bootstrap analysis indicated the variance of genetic similarities differed little when the sample size was >80 markers. Two species from China (Prunus salicina Lindl. and P. simonii Carr.) and one species from Europe (P. cerasifera Ehrh.) contributed the bulk (72% to 90%) of the genetic background to the cultivated diploid plum. The southeastern plum gene pool was more diverse than those from California, Florida, or South Africa because of the greater contribution of P. cerasifera and P. angustifolia Marsh. to its genetic background.