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R.W. Robinson and Stephen Reiners

Summer squash (Cucurbita pepo L.) cultivars were compared for ability to set parthenocarpic fruit. Some cultivars set no parthenocarpic fruit and others varied in the amount of fruit set when not pollinated. The degree of parthenocarpy varied with season, but the relative ranking of cultivars for parthenocarpy was generally similar. Cultivars with the best parthenocarpic fruit set were of the dark green, zucchini type, but some cultivars of other fruit types also set parthenocarpic fruit. A summer squash cultivar was developed that combines a high rate of natural parthenocarpy with multiple disease resistance. Yield of summer squash plants grown under row covers that excluded pollinating insects was as much as 83% of that of insect-pollinated plants in the open.

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Jaime Prohens, Juan J. Ruiz and Fernando Nuez

Parthenocarpy in pepino (Solanum muricatum Aiton) can overcome poor fruit set caused by pollination deficiencies. In two families involving a parthenocarpic parent (Pp), a nonparthenocarpic parent (Pnp), and the generations Pp⊗, Pnp⊗, F1, BCp, BCnp, and F2, we studied three traits that are often confused: parthenocarpy, efficiency of parthenocarpy over seeded fruit set, and the degree of facultative parthenocarpy. Plants were trained to two stems (A and B). On stem A we emasculated six flowers per truss; three were pollinated and the other three were left unpollinated. We considered that a plant was parthenocarpic if it set one or more seedless fruit similar in size and shape to those seeded, and nonparthenocarpic if it only set seeded fruit. The efficiency of parthenocarpy over seeded fruit set was measured with a parthenocarpic fruit set index (PFSI), defined as twice the ratio of seedless to total fruit on stem A. In stem B all flowers were left to self-pollinate naturally. We quantified the degree of facultative parthenocarpy as the percentage of seedless fruit of the total. Parthenocarpy is controlled by one dominant gene for which we propose the symbol P. Parthenocarpic fruit set in the homozygote PP was as efficient as the seeded one (PFSI ≈ 1); in the heterozygote Pp it was less efficient (PFSI ≈ 0.6). The dose of gene P explained the differences found between generations for the PFSI and made it possible to predict the PFSI of a given generation from the proportions of PP and Pp genotypes. Although for the Pp hybrids parthenocarpic fruit set was less efficient than the seeded one, their ability to set seedless fruit in conditions of deficient pollination, together with their high degree of heterosis, makes them agronomically useful. The degree of facultative parthenocarpy seemed to be a complex trait with low heritability. In environments unfavorable for pollination, parthenocarpic genotypes set seedless fruit, thus ensuring crop production and yield stability. Using the degree of facultative parthenocarpy to classify plants for parthenocarpy is not recommended. Developing parthenocarpic cultivars can help spread this crop and stabilize yields.

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Aliza Vardi, Ilan Levin and Nir Carmi

characteristic for fresh market fruit, including citrus. Parthenocarpy Parthenocarpy, literally meaning virgin fruit, is the natural, artificially induced, or genetically modified production of fruit without fertilization. In the absence of pollination

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Lu Zhang, Robert Howard Beede, Gary Banuelos, Christopher M. Wallis and Louise Ferguson

as the pollen, covered the stigma surface, and blocked the interface between the pollen and the papillae cells ( Fig. 3C ). In pistachios, pollen-induced parthenocarpy, fruit set without fertilization, produces a fully expanded pericarp (shell

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Yu-Chun Chu, Tzong-Shyan Lin and Jer-Chia Chang

seeded and small seedless fruit may result from double fertilization, stenospermocarpy, and parthenocarpy simultaneously within different fruits of a cluster, but the causative factors for the various seed in this cultivar are still poorly understood

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M.K. Ehlenfeldt and M.R. Hall

T 286, a rabbiteye blueberry selection from a `Delite' × `Tifblue' cross, generally has been regarded as producing semi-seedless fruit. A comparison of nonpollinated flowers of T 286, `Delite', and `Tifblue' showed no differences in ovule count, and comparisons of ovules at 10, 20, and 40 days from manual cross-pollination showed no obvious evidence of embryo abortion. Manually cross-pollinated flowers contained 85, 60, and 38 seeds per fruit for `Delite', `Tifblue', and T 286, respectively. Open-pollinated fruit of T 286 had a seed count similar to that of open-pollinated `Tifblue' but possessed significantly heavier fruit. The number of seed in T 286 and `Tifblue' indicates a tendency toward parthenocarpy.

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Javier Sanzol and Maria Herrero

the time of the onset of fruiting and to evaluate any natural tendency to parthenocarpy in this cultivar, crosspollinated and unpollinated pistils were weighed individually during the first 3 weeks after anthesis. Both populations (crossed and

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Yasuyoshi Hayata, Yoshiyuki Niimi and Naoto Iwasaki

Applying a 200 ppm solution of CPPU to pollinated ovaries of watermelon (Citrullus lunatus Matsum) at anthesis increased fruit set from 26.9% (control) to 95%. Applying CPPU solutions to nonpollinated ovaries at anthesis induced parthenocarpy, yielding 65% and 89.5% fruit set, respectively with 20 and 200 ppm applications. However, 64% of the 20 ppm CPPU-treated parthenocarpic fruit stopped growth 10 days after treatment. Growth of CPPU-treated, pollinated, and nonpollinated fruit increased significantly compared with growth of control fruit during the first 10 days after treatment, but, except for the 20 ppm CPPU parthenocarpic fruit, growth subsequently slowed, resulting in fruit equal in size to the control by harvest. CPPU application did not affect soluble solids content of pollinated fruit, but reduced content of parthenocarpic fruit treated with 20 ppm. Fructose content was generally higher than glucose and sucrose at harvest. However, in pollinated fruit treated with 20 ppm CPPU, sucrose levels were higher than glucose and fructose. These results suggest that CPPU is practical for promoting fruit set and seedless fruit without adversely affecting fruit quality and development.

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John R. Stommel

Parthenocarpy has been the subject of numerous investigations to increase fruit quantity and quality in pollinator-dependent crops by removing or reducing the need for pollination in fruit set and growth development. Fruit set in the absence of

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Takuro Suyama, Kunio Yamada, Hitoshi Mori, Kiyotoshi Takeno and Shohei Yamaki

A cDNA library was constructed from poly(A)+RNA extracted from pollinated fruit of `PMR-142' cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.). Subtraction hybridization was made between the cDNAs and poly(A)+RNA from unpollinated fruit to isolate cDNA clones that corresponded to the genes preferentially expressed in the pollinated fruit. We isolated three cDNAs, which were 756, 826, and 998 nucleotides long and designated Csf1, Csf2, and Csf3, respectively. When fruit growth was triggered by pollination, auxin treatment and natural parthenocarpy, Csf2 was always expressed. Time course of expression of the Csf2 gene was nearly parallel to that of the fruit growth. Nucleotide sequences of the Csf cDNAs were fully determined. Homology of the deduced amino acid sequence for Csf1 showed 75% identity with a pea extensin. Only 37%, 33%, and 26% homology was found between Csf2 and bell pepper CaSn-2, tobacco FB7-4, and opium poppy gMLP15, respectively. The Csf3 sequence showed 68% identity with the large subunit of 60S ribosomal protein L3 of Arabidopsis thaliana.