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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


item Labate, Joanne
item Robertson, Larry
item Bjorkman, Thomas

Submitted to: HortScience
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/1/2004
Publication Date: 7/15/2004
Citation: Labate, J.A., Robertson, L.D., Bjorkman, T. 2004. Utility of bocal-a and boap1-a genotypes in identifying broccoli and cauliflower accessions. Hortscience. 39:773.

Interpretive Summary: We have worked on developing diagnostic tools to distinguish between broccoli and cauliflower seeds and seedlings by genotyping several-hundred plants from PGRU broccoli and cauliflower accessions for flowering-developmental pathway markers. We found evidence to support published claims that certain gene mutations are associated with cauliflower and not broccoli, but the associations were weak and not predictive in PGRU accessions. Additional genes may have confounded our results. Continued improvement of such tools will allow curators and breeders to predict phenotype without growing a plant to maturity.

Technical Abstract: Broccoli and cauliflower are different botanical varieties of Brassica oleracea. Mutant alleles at the loci BoCAL and BoAP1 can cause arrest at curding that is characteristic of cauliflower. These genes control early floral differentiation, necessary for the progression from a cauliflower-like inflorescence to the flower buds of broccoli. To what extent is the cauliflower-to-broccoli variation within the USDA-PGRU collection determined by mutant alleles of these genes? We surveyed the broccoli collection to examine the correlation between genotype and phenotype. Earlier work showed that BoCAL alone was not an effective predictor of cauliflower phenotype in this collection. The redundant function of BoCAL and AP1 in determining inflorescence arrest raises the possibility that the combined genotype can explain the phenotypic variation. We found that not to be the case. Two accessions varied in phenotype and segregated at both loci, but the combined genotypes were not associated with the expected phenotypes. Two additional accessions varied in phenotype and segregated at one locus, but with no association between genotype and phenotype. One line varying widely in phenotype was fixed for both loci. One line that was a stable intermediate phenotype segregated for BoCAL. A commercial broccoli cultivar had the cauliflower allele at both loci. The genetic basis of the cauliflower phenotype in the USDA B. oleracea collection is due more to alleles of genes affecting the expression of BoAP1 and BoCAL than to variation in these alleles of the genes themselves.

Last Modified: 06/24/2017
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