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Yiping Zhang and John R. Stommel

The carotenoids have an important influence on tomato fruit quality and enhance the fruit contribution to human nutrition. Expression of the high pigment (hp) locus in tomato results in increased total carotenoids and increased efficiency of utilization of the polyenes. A similar mutant, dark green (dg), contains higher level of chlorophyll in immature fruit and results in darker red pigmentation, both externally and internally in ripe fruit. Random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) and amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) analyses were performed using two pairs of near isogenic lines (NILs) designed to be isogenic at the hp and dg loci. Sixty-four AFLP primer pairs and more than 1000 RAPD 10-mer primers were screened for polymorphism between each pair of the NILs. One RAPD marker was identified to be linked to the hp gene, and two AFLP primer pairs showed polymorphic fragments which distinguished the dg NILs. The markers identified in this study will be converted to allele specific SCAR (sequence characterized amplified region) markers, which are more useful in marker-assisted selection breeding programs.

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H.C. Wien and Yiping Zhang

A series of greenhouse experiments was conducted with `Shamrock' bell pepper (Capsicum annuum L.) to gain insight into the flower abscission mechanism and to investigate methods to reduce reproductive structure abscission due to low light intensity. Foliar sprays of STS reduced stress-induced abscission. Application of the synthetic auxin NAA to the ovary substituted for pollination to effect fruit set under nonstress conditions, but did not improve fruit set compared to pollinated controls under low-light stress. Ovary treatment with GA3 and BA either alone or combined with NAA had similar results to NAA treatment alone. Foliar sprays of NAA or CPA also did not improve fruit set under low-light stress conditions. Application of NAA in an aqueous paste to the abscission zone prevented abscission but inhibited fruit growth. Taken together, the results indicate that stress-induced abscission is not prevented by auxin application to the ovary or foliage. The interaction of ethylene and auxin in reproductive structure abscission under stress conditions requires further investigation. Chemical names used: 6-benzylaminopurine (BA), p-chlorophenoxy acetic acid (CPA), gibberellic acid (GA,), silver thiosulfate (STS).

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Yiping Zhang, Vince Lackney and Molly Kyle

Genetic resistance to cucumber mosaic virus (CMV) in pepper (Capsicum spp.) is recessive, polygenic and, therefore, has been difficult to transfer in breeding programs. Although a few varieties have been released with some resistance, in our tests, these develop severe symptoms that are eventually indistinguishable from the susceptible reactions. Furthermore, accurate and consistent screens for the disease can be relatively difficult; therefore, we report on the detection molecular markers linked to two CMV resistance genes using distributional extreme analysis to identify the relevant quantitative trait loci (QTL). The 12 most resistant and 15 most susceptible individuals were selected from a segregating F2 population of 316 individuals that were derived from the interspecific cross (C. annuum `Jupiter' × C. frutescens BG2814-6). A total of 132 tomato genomic, cDNA, and pepper genomic clones were hybridized to filters with DNA extracted from the distributional extremes. These clones included framework markers representing all pepper linkage groups and also selected clones from regions of the genome identified in a preliminary analysis as possibly involved with CMV resistance. Several clones from the two regions of the genome previously identified appear to be nonrandomly cosegregating with the CMV resistance phenotype in this larger population. Further analysis will be done by adding more markers in the regions and refining the positions of the resistance QTL.

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Yiping Zhang, Vince Lackney and Molly Kyle

We report the detection of molecular markers linked to polygenic recessive resistance to cucumber mosaic virus (CMV) in pepper using distributional extreme analysis. A total of 132 mapped tomato genomic, cDNA, and pepper genomic clones from different linkage groups in two existing pepper maps, especially from the ones showing tentative CMVR QTLs, were selected as hybridization probes for Southern blots, in which DNA from the 12 most resistant and 15 most susceptible individuals from a large segregating F2 were probed. Several clones appeared to cosegregate with CMV resistance phenotype. Further analysis is being done to place these markers on existing molecular linkage maps. The precise locations of resistance genes can be defined by examining additional markers within the region. The availability of closely linked DNA markers may facilitate marker-aided selection in pepper CMV resistance breeding programs.

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Danqing Li, Jiao Zhang, Jiaping Zhang, Kang Li and Yiping Xia

Iris (Iris sp.) is a popular and widely planted herbaceous perennial. However, most iris species go dormant without any aesthetic quality for 5–6 months in the transition zone between the temperate and subtropical climates. To investigate the effects of species/cultivars, leaf shape, and air temperature conditions on the ability to stay green, 12 popular species and cultivars in the transition zone were evaluated. Iris tested included the following species: roof iris (I. tectorum), japanese iris (I. japonica), long leafed flag (I. halophila), yellow flag (I. pseudacorus), blood iris (I. sanguinea), japanese water iris (I. ensata), and small-flower iris (I. speculatrix) and the following cultivars: ‘Chinensis’ milky iris (I. lactea var. chinensis), ‘Bryce Leigh’ louisiana iris (I. hexagonae), ‘Black Swan’ german iris (I. germanica), ‘Careless Sally’ siberian iris (I. sibirica), and ‘Loyalty’ japanese water iris (I. ensata). We conducted a 2-year field study on mature iris populations and evaluated the percentage of green leaves during winter retention and spring recovery using a digital image analysis (DIA). Green period during this study was calculated using predicted sigmoid curves based on the percentage of green leaves. The present study revealed that iris species/cultivars and air temperatures had considerable influence on the duration of the green period. Both evergreen and deciduous iris phenotypes exist with three different leaf shapes, among which the average green period of fan-shaped leaf iris species and cultivars was the longest. Because there was no significant (P = 0.205) relationship between green period during this period and leaf lethal temperature (LT50), new cultivars with long green periods may be achieved without a simultaneous loss of cold tolerance in iris.

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Henry M. Munger, Yiping Zhang, Susan L. Fenton and Molly Kyle

Plants to be screened for resistance to mechanically transmitted viruses can be inoculated by using an inexpensive electric-powered leaf blower. This device greatly reduces the amount of time to inoculate large populations when compared with hand-rubbing methods. No significant differences were noted with regard to the frequency of seedlings that escaped infection.

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Yiping Zhang, Molly Kyle, Konstantinos Anagnostou and Thomas A. Zitter

Greenhouse and field evaluations of melon (Cucumis melo L.) for resistance to gummy stem blight, caused by the fungus Didymella bryoniae (Auersw.) Rehm, were conducted on 798 U.S. Dept. of Agriculture Plant Introduction (PI) accessions and 24 related Cucumis species. Plants were inoculated at the three to four true-leaf stage with a virulent isolate of D. bryoniae collected from Onondaga County, N.Y., and disease indices were calculated based on foliar and stem symptoms. In greenhouse screens, 43 C. melo accessions showed a high level of resistance. Results were consistent between the optimized greenhouse screening procedure described and inoculated replicated field tests. Of these accessions, a Chinese group, PIs 157076, 157080, 157081, 157082, 157084; another group from Zimbabwe, PIs 482393, 482398, 482399, 482402, 482403, 482408; and some others from different origins, PI 255478 (Korea) and PI 511890 (Mexico), showed high levels of resistance, at least equal to that in PI 140471, the leading source of resistance to date.

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Yiping Zhang, Vince K. Lackney, James P. Prince, Jim P. Blauth and Molly M. Kyle

Pepper (Capsicum spp.) has the same basic chromosome number as tomato and other solanaceous plant species (2n = 2x = 24). By using the probes mostly from a tomato map, we have generated three molecular maps of pepper from interspecific F2 crosses of C. frutescens BG 2814-6, C. chinense PI 159234 and C. annuum `NuMex RNaky' with restriction fragment length polymorphisms, isozymes, random amplified polymorphic DNAs, and morphological traits. The best developed map is from C. annuum × C. chinense F2 cross, which currently has 366 markers covered 1081 cM in 18 linkage groups. Three linkage groups were assigned to three chromosomes based on primary trisomics. Several disease resistance genes including monogenic resistance to potyviruses and quantitative trait loci for resistance to tobacco mosaic virus and cucumber mosaic virus have been mapped. The distribution of allele frequency and marker segregation ratios have been analyzed. Chi-square analyses of all clones showed more skewing of segregation ratios in C. annuum × C. chinense population than the other two populations. The skewing occurs throughout the genome and tends towards heterozygote and one of the parents. The order of markers among three pepper maps will be compared and the comparisons of synteny between pepper and tomato maps will be described. A composite of three pepper maps will be presented using JoinMap software.