Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: October 25, 2004
Publication Date: October 25, 2004
Citation: Stommel, J.R., Francis, D. 2004. Inheritance of tomato firmness in genotypes derived from crosses between Lycopersicon esculentum and L. hirsutum [abstract]. Proceeding of the Tomato Breeders Roundtable. Annapolis, Maryland. pp. 39.
Tomato fruit firmness is a key quality component of tomatoes produced for processing applications. Fruit firmness is generally considered a quantitatively inherited trait. Pericarp firmness of modern tomato cultivars is derived from a fairly narrow genetic background and is the result of the cumulative effort of numerous breeders over many years. Despite inferior phenotypes, wild species contain loci that can substantially increase tomato fruit quality. In the current study, inheritance of fruit firmness in firm and ultra-firm processing tomato germplasm developed from transgressive segregants of interspecific Lycopersicon esculentum x L. hirsutum and intraspecific L. esculentum crosses was characterized. Large-fruited breeding lines that varied in fruit firmness from soft to firm were identified for genetic analyses. A six-parent diallel of these advanced breeding lines was developed for field trials over multiple locations. Fruit firmness in the resulting 36 lines was determined by measuring fruit elastic properties during fruit puncture and compression. Following loading for compression, stress relaxation was recorded for 15 seconds. A three-parameter model was used to fit the relaxation curves. There was little correlation between firmness (maximum force) and the three relaxation parameters, i.e., firmness measured the elastic component and the relaxation parameters measured the viscous portions of the texture. General and specific combining ability for firmness derived from the respective genetic backgrounds was determined. Environmental effects were small and crosses performed quite uniformly across environments. Since general combining ability was the principal source of genetic variation, breeding methods that exploit additive variation would be most appropriate for improving fruit firmness.