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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Evaluating the Mutant White Flower Trait of Kenaf

Authors
item Cook, Charles
item Banuelos, Gary

Submitted to: Kenaf Association International Conference Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: May 1, 1996
Publication Date: N/A

Interpretive Summary: Flowers of commercial kenaf varieties and the majority of kenaf germplasms and introductions are yellow in color with purple basal petal spots. In 1990, a single kenaf plant which produced a smaller than normal, white flower was discovered in a breeding nursery at San Juan de Valle, Nayarit, Mexico. Although most mutations are deleterious, a genetic study was initiated to determine the mode of inheritance of the white flower trait in kenaf. Results of this study indicate that the white flower character is a simply inherited trait. The inheritance of the white flower character appears to be monogenic and recessive to the yellow flower color. In addition, greenhouse and field observations indicate that the white flower line, PVWF-90, may possess a high level of resistance to Leveillula taurica (L¿v.) G. Arnuad, a foliar fungal pathogen which generally attacks kenaf grown for commercial seed production in the fall. Because the white flower color is unique, easily observed, and a simply inherited character, it may prove valuable as a genetic marker, in addition to a source of powdery mildew resistance.

Technical Abstract: Kenaf (Hibiscus cannabinus L.), a member of the Malvaceae family, is by nature a self-pollinating plant species. Within a self-pollinating species, mutations are the most common and most powerful source of genetic variation. In 1990, a single kenaf plant which produced a smaller than normal, white flower was discovered in a breeding nursery at San Juan de Valle, Nayarit, Mexico. Since successive plantings indicated that this trait was under genetic control, a study was initiated to determine the inheritance of this trait. Ratios of white to yellow flowers in F1, F2, and backcross populations indicated that the white flower trait was under the control of a single, recessive gene. Greenhouse observations also have indicated that this germplasm, designated as PVWF-90, possesses a high level of resistance to powdery mildew, a fungal pathogen that can reduce seed yield and quality. Although the two traits do not appear to be closely linked, this germplasm should provide both an excellent source of resistance to the powdery mildew fungus and an easily identifiable genetic marker. Since most mutations are deleterious and quickly eliminated from a population, when they appear, advantage should be taken of them. Further studies will be conducted with this germplasm to determine if it possesses other desirable traits.

Last Modified: 12/20/2014
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