Research Article

Inheritance of parthenocarpy in summer squash (Cucurbita pepo L.)

Abstract

The inheritance of the tendency to set parthenocarpic fruit in the summer squash (Cucurbita pepo L.) line Whitaker was studied. Two parental lines, Whitaker (parthenocarpic) and Caserta (non-parthenocarpic), and the F1 and F2 generations and backcrosses to both parents were tested. The parthenocarpic tendency of individual plants was scored on a scale from 1 (non-parthenocarpic fruit) to 5 (parthenocarpic fruit). The Whitaker line produced parthenocarpic fruit and had a mean score of 4.2, whereas Caserta did not set parthenocarpic fruit and had a score of 1.55. The heritability estimates indicated that genetic gains from selection were feasible. The additive-dominant model showed a good fit, with epistasis being negligible or nonexistent. The hypothesis of monogenic inheritance with incomplete dominance was not rejected within the degree of dominance range from 0.2 to 0.5. These results indicate that parthenocarpy is controlled by a single locus, with incomplete dominance in the direction of parthenocarpic expression.

The inheritance of the tendency to set parthenocarpic fruit in the summer squash (Cucurbita pepo L.) line Whitaker was studied. Two parental lines, Whitaker (parthenocarpic) and Caserta (non-parthenocarpic), and the F1 and F2 generations and backcrosses to both parents were tested. The parthenocarpic tendency of individual plants was scored on a scale from 1 (non-parthenocarpic fruit) to 5 (parthenocarpic fruit). The Whitaker line produced parthenocarpic fruit and had a mean score of 4.2, whereas Caserta did not set parthenocarpic fruit and had a score of 1.55. The heritability estimates indicated that genetic gains from selection were feasible. The additive-dominant model showed a good fit, with epistasis being negligible or nonexistent. The hypothesis of monogenic inheritance with incomplete dominance was not rejected within the degree of dominance range from 0.2 to 0.5. These results indicate that parthenocarpy is controlled by a single locus, with incomplete dominance in the direction of parthenocarpic expression.

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