A series of greenhouse and field studies was conducted over 9 years to characterize three new sources of resistance in cowpea [Vigna unguiculata (L.) Walp.] to the southern root-knot nematode [Meloidogyne incognita (Kofoid & White) Chitwood] and to determine if the resistances are conditioned by genes allelic to the Rk root-knot nematode resistance gene in `Mississippi Silver'. Three plant introductions (PI), PI 441917, PI 441920, and PI 468104, were evaluated for reaction to M. incognita in four greenhouse tests, and in every test each PI exhibited less galling, egg mass formation, or egg production than `Mississippi Silver'. F2 populations of the crosses between `Mississippi Silver' and each of the three resistant PIs were also evaluated for root-knot nematode resistance in a greenhouse test. None of the F2 populations segregated for resistance, indicating that PI 441917, PI 441920, and PI 468104 each has a gene conditioning resistance that is allelic to the Rk gene in `Mississippi Silver'. Our observations on the superior levels of resistances exhibited by PI 441917, PI 441920, and PI 468104 suggest that the allele at the Rk locus in these lines may not be the Rk allele, but one or more alleles that condition a superior, dominant-type resistance. The availability of additional dominant alleles would broaden the genetic base for root-knot nematode resistance in cowpea.
Genotypic variations in the length-diameter relationship of branches among peach and nectarine [Prunus persica (L.) Batsch.] cultivars were investigated. The length and basal diameter of all undamaged first-order shoots from 1-year-old trees of 14 cultivars and one accession were measured. Statistical analysis of the allometric relationship between length and basal diameter of shoots provided evidence of genotypic differences for that relationship, although the diameter of very short shoots did not differ between genotypes. A gradient existed from `Armking' with thin shoots (9 mm in diameter for 85.5-cm-long shoots) to `Flavorcrest' with thick shoots (16.4 mm in diameter for 85.5-cm-long shoots). Early selection for shoot thickness should be possible in breeding programs. The likely consequences of observed shoot thickness variations on the mechanical and hydraulic properties of shoots are discussed.
Verticillium wilt caused by Verticillium dahliae Kleb. is an economically damaging disease of iceberg lettuce on the Central Coast of California. Foliar wilting symptoms that manifest near or at peak market maturity (MM) lead to collapse of the head, making it unmarketable. Complete resistance to race 1 of the pathogen is known, but adequate levels of resistance are not available against race 2. Additional mechanisms or traits that reduce foliar symptoms (FS) are needed to lessen economic losses from this disease. Since the disease affects leaves, the harvested product, identification of iceberg cultivars that delay the onset of FS past peak MM could reduce yield loss from the disease. The goal of this research was to identify iceberg lettuce germplasm with delayed onset of FS. Diverse iceberg cultivars were evaluated in replicated field experiments for MM, FS severity, and adaptation. A few winter-adapted cultivars showed fewer FS past MM and seem to be promising candidates for breeding. These cultivars are not adapted to the California Central Coast where the disease currently predominates. Further studies will determine the usefulness of this trait for breeding improved cultivars for use in V. dahliae–infested fields. Developing new cultivars that combine currently available sources of partial resistance against race 2 with delayed onset of FS could lead to reduced crop losses should race 2 of V. dahliae become widespread.
A high level of resistance to zucchini yellow mosaic virus (ZYMV) was found in four landraces of Citrullus lanatus (Thunb.) MatSum. & Nakai (PI 482322, PI 482299, PI 482261, and PI 482308) originally collected in Zimbabwe. This resistance is specific to the Florida strain of the virus (ZYMV-FL), which prevails in the United States. Inheritance studies were conducted by using a single-plant selection (PP261-I) of PI 48226I and the ZYMV-susceptible watermelon cultivar New Hampshire Midget. In F1, F2, and reciprocal backcross populations, resistance was conferred by a single recessive gene to which the symbol zym is assigned. There was no linkage between zym and one of the three homodimer bands of the isozyme phosphoglucoisomerase (Pgi-2b), which was found in PP261-1, and in other ZYMV-FL resistant plants.
There is concern that modern cultivars and/or agronomic practices have resulted in reduced concentrations of mineral elements essential to human nutrition in edible crops. Increased yields are often associated with reduced concentrations of mineral elements in produce, and a number of recent studies have indicated that, when grown under identical conditions, the concentrations of several mineral elements are lower in genotypes yielding more grain or shoot biomass than in older, lower-yielding genotypes. Potato is a significant crop, grown worldwide, yet few studies have investigated whether increasing yields, through agronomy or breeding, affects the concentrations of mineral elements in tubers. This article examines the hypothesis that increasing yields, either by the application of mineral fertilizers and/or by growing higher-yielding varieties, leads to decreased concentrations of mineral elements in tubers. It reports that the application of fertilizers influences tuber elemental composition in a complex manner, presumably as a consequence of soil chemistry and interactions between mineral elements within the plant, that considerable variation exists between potato genotypes in the concentrations of mineral elements in their tubers, and that, like in other crops, higher-yielding genotypes occasionally have lower concentrations of some mineral elements in their edible tissues than lower-yielding genotypes.
Forty-four accessions of Cucumis melo L. and related wild species were tested for reaction to a yellowing disease, incited by the recently identified cucurbit yellowing stunting disorder virus (CYSDV), under natural and controlled-inoculation conditions. The C. melo TGR-1551 accession and one Cucumis metuliferus Naud. accession were asymptomatic. The segregation ratios obtained following controlled inoculations of the family produced by crossing TGR-1551 with the susceptible Spanish cv. Piel de Sapo revealed that the resistance to CYSDV in TGR-1551 is conditioned by a dominant allele at one locus. The name Cucurbit yellow stunting and symbol Cys is proposed for this locus.
Most sweet cherry (Prunus avium L.) cultivars grown commercially in the Pacific Northwestern states of the United States are susceptible to powdery mildew, caused by the fungus Podosphaera clandestina (Wall.:Fr.) Lev. The disease is prevalent in the irrigated arid region east of the Cascade Mountains in Washington State. Little is known about genetic resistance to powdery mildew in sweet cherry, although a selection (PMR-1) was identified at Washington State Univ.'s Irrigated Agriculture Research and Extension Center that exhibits apparent foliar immunity to the disease. The objective of this research was to determine the inheritance of powdery mildew resistance from PMR-1. Reciprocal crosses were made between PMR-1 and three high-quality, widely-grown susceptible cultivars (`Bing', `Rainier', and `Van'). Resultant progenies were screened for reaction to powdery mildew colonization using a laboratory leaf disk assay. Assay results were verified by natural spread of powdery mildew among the progeny in a greenhouse and later by placing them among infected trees in a cherry orchard. Segregation within the progenies for powdery mildew reaction fit a 1 resistant: 1 susceptible segregation ratio (P ≤ 0.05), indicating that resistance to powdery mildew derived from PMR-1 was conferred by a single gene.
The year 2005 marked the 25th anniversary of the establishment of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Plant Germplasm System (NPGS), repositories devoted to clonally propagated, horticultural fruit and nut crops. During this quarter century, facilities in Hilo, Hawaii; Mayaguez, PR.; Miami, Fla.; and Riverside, Calif. were developed to preserve collections of tropical and subtropical fruit and nut crops; facilities in Brownwood, Texas; Corvallis, Ore.; Davis, Calif. and Geneva, N.Y. preserve the temperate crops. Each of these facilities now has internationally recognized, globally diverse collections of genetic resources for their assigned genera. Germplasm of unique genotypes are maintained as growing plants, evaluated for phenotypic and genotypic traits, documented in a national public germplasm database, and freely distributed as clonal propaggules to researchers and other germplasm users around the world. Seed collections represent wild populations for some crop relatives. These 8 genebanks maintain 30,000 accessions representing 1600 species of fruit and nut crops and their wild relatives. The genebanks distribute more than 15,000 accessions annually to international researchers. Although originally conceived as working collections for crop improvement, NPGS genebanks have also become invaluable in providing the raw materials for basic plant genetic research, reservoirs for rare or endangered species or vulnerable landraces, archives of historic cultivars, and field classrooms for educating the public. These collections preserve botanical treasures as well as the American horticultural heritage for now and for future generations.