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Vegetable Improvement Newsletter No. 13, February 1971
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Compiled by H.M. Munger, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York

1. Cytoplasmically Inherited Flavor and Male Sterility Factors in Brassica

O.H. Pearson

Dept. of Plant Breeding and Biometry, Cornell University, Ithaca, N.Y. 14850

From the cross B. nigra (n=8) x B. oleracea (n=9) (broccoli) raised to 4n by colchicine treatment and reduced to 2n by repeated backcrossings by broccoli, a broccoli line of Medium Early types has been extracted. This is typical of the variety in appearance, but is very low in sulfur containing isothiocyanates, has a sharp mustard-green flavor, and no cooking odors. This flavor difference in maternally inherited, as shown by organoleptic tests of reciprocal crosses.

Outcrossing one of these early broccoli backcrosses by cabbage and repeated backcrossing by selfed progeny of the cabbage line uncovered a petaloid cytoplasmic male sterile. Early generations showed serious malformations of the seed pod, but later generations are nearly normal. In many lines, the inner whorl of stamens has become carpellate, bearing seeds, and enclosing the original pistil. Nectaries are absent, and bees will not visit petaloid flowers. Several maintainer lines have been isolated, unfortunately all highly self-incompatible, and for this reason useless in the prompt exploitation of this male sterile system. The genetics of the character is a simple recessive operating only in N (nigra) cytoplasm.

From a differently derived line from this cross, a vestigial anther form of cytoplasmic male sterility has also been uncovered. The flower shows the same type of anther abortion found in the ms genetic male steriles in Brassica, but is temperature insensitive. Nectaries are present, perhaps reduced in size, but functional and bees will visit these flowers. No maintainer lines have been isolated as yet, and its genetics has not been worked out. However, it can be transferred to other stocks.

It it turns out that this flavor difference found in the flower buds of broccoli, maternally transmitted, is likewise maternally transmitted in cabbage, flavor in processed cabbage could be expected to be different. Some designation to indicate this flavor difference should be adopted, and I suggest the addition of the letter "n" to the name of the item, such as "cabbagen". Any hybrid made of a cytoplasmic male sterile with N cytoplasm might have a flavor difference.

Because of the complexities of pulling useable lines out of this material recovery of nectaries in the petaloid and improvement of flower structure, and the location of maintainer lines for the vestigial and the working out of its inheritance which may be complex, seed of petaloid and its maintainer, and seed of a line segregating for vestigial is offered to interested plant breeders. Small amounts of each can be obtained from Dr. D.W. Wallace, Dept. of Plant Breeding, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, 14850.

2. The Effect of the White Spine Gene on Various Characters in the Cucumber Cultivar Wisconsin SMR18

Ben F. George

Dept. of Plant Breeding and Biometry, Cornell University, Ithaca, N.Y. 14850

Comparisons of 2 B.C.6 F3 white spine lines (bb) with their respective B.C.6 F3 black spine (BB) sib lines were made this past summer for a number of characters. No significant differences were found for flesh firmness, cucumber mosaic resistance and earliness. Skin toughness, which has been thought to be greater in white spine varieties, was similar in grades 3 and 5, but the mature fruit, 40 days old, in bb lines were significantly tougher (.01) than the BB lines. An anatomical study of the pericarps suggests that this may be due to development of thicker cell walls in the subepidermal tissue of the mature bb fruit. The difference seems to appear only after fruit would be too large for pickling. Limited data show that a slightly smaller length/diameter ratio, within a given grade of fruit , may be associated with bb.

Hunter Color Meter data confirm the observation that bb contributes to greater color uniformity from stem to blossom end in grade 5 fruit. The difference in mature skin color, orange for BB and cream for bb, was associated with the presence of a flavanoid compound and a large quantity of carotenoids in the orange skin, while very little of either pigment was found in the cream skin. It was found that under low fertility conditions an apparent lighter green leaf color is associated with bb. Chlorophyll determinations are in progress.

3. Backcross-derived Modifications of Wisconsin SMR18 Cucumber

H.M. Munger

Dept. of Plant Breeding and Biometry, Cornell University, Ithaca, N.Y. 14850

We now have several versions of Wisconsin SMR18, developed primarily for isogenic line studies but possibly of interest to breeders of pickling cucumbers. One is a white-spined type derived from 6 backcrosses which seems to be identical in most respects to SMR18 (see separate note by B.F. George). This line could be substituted for SMR18 in crosses with W.S. gynoecious lines if one wanted to make W.S. hybrids.

In another version, we have added the uniform color found in Tablegreen. Whether this will make pickles with acceptable color is still in question. It would have the advantage of less difference in color between the stem and blossom ends of the fruit and also of reducing greatly the variations in fruit color that now occur between harvest dates and between locations, due to temperature differences.

The W.S. and uniform features are being combined with each other and with gynoecious flowering. We have not yet decided which combinations should be released but the best may be a gynoecious, uniform, W.S. type for use in producing hybrid seed. Since the latter two characters are both recessive, they can be covered by the dominants of a male parent if not desired. We should have all combinations by the end of the 1971 growing season. Requests for samples of any of them will be kept on file and filled when seed becomes available. We may be able to supply some from the spring greenhouse crop in time for June planting.

Although it might be desirable to name these lines in such a way as to identify their background genotype with Wisconsin SMR18, that name is already so long that it does not seem practical to add numbers or letters to it. Consequently, I have decided tentatively to give the name 'Progress' to one line in this group and identify the others by adding numbers. The letter 'F' will be used to identify the gynoecious types.

4. Inheritance of Resistance to Powdery Mildew in Cucumber

S. Shanmugasundaram and P.H. Williams

Department of Plant Pathology, University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin, 53706

Within our cucumber breeding program certain lines could be consistently classified as resistant, intermediate or susceptible to powdery mildew, Sphaerotheca fulinginea. Resistant plants either had no powdery mildew or at most one or two weakly growing colonies which elicited a hypersensitive necrosis in the leaf tissue beneath them. In intermediate resistance, the cotyledons and true leaves were mildewed either mildly or severely, but there was no mildew on the hypocotyl, stem or petiole. On susceptible plants the cotyledons, hypocotyl, upper and lower side of the true leaves, stem and petiole were completely covered with mildew.

Certain plants in the following cucumber accessions were found to have resistance or intermediate resistance to the biotypes of powdery mildew found in Wisconsin: PI 197085, PI 197086, PI 197087, PI 197088, PI 212233, PI 234517, PI 279465, cv. Natsufushinari, Pixie A-1, Poinsett, Polaris and breeding line 9362.

The F1, F2 and backcross data from the crosses made between 9362 and PI 212233, 234517, Pixie, Natsufushinari, and Chicago Pickling indicated that a dominant gene Sfr controls the resistance to powdery mildew and is expressed only when the non-allelic dominant genes Sfi and Sfs are recessive. Resistance is intermediate when Sfr and Sfs are recessive regardless of the condition of Sfi. When Sfr and Sfi are dominant and Sfs is recessive resistance is also intermediate. When Sfs is dominant susceptibility results regardless of the state of Sfr and Sfi. The genes responsible for resistance appear to be the same in PI 212233, 234517 and cv. Natsufushinari. Genes for powdery mildew resistance, scab resistance, cotyledon bitterness and spine color are all independently inherited and no linkage was observed among them.

5. A Cotyledon Marker Gene in Cucumbers

S. Shanmugasundaram and P.H. Williams

Department of Plant Pathology, University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin, 53706

Small cotyledons with chlorotic tip were found in some cucumber seedlings in our breeding lines 9594 and 9597. The growth of these seedlings is slow and the true leaves are highly puckered and cuplike. The corolla of both male and female flowers never opened. The female flowers have a long, slender neck connecting the ovary and the style. Male flowers are fertile. The fertility of the female is doubtful; however, parthenocarpic fruits are formed. The abnormal cotyledon with its accompanying syndrome is inherited as a single recessive, designated as cotyledon marker (cm), is probably pleiotropic. The abnormal plants were grown in the field, but no seed fruits were obtained suggesting that they are probably semi-lethal. The gene is maintained in the population through the heterozygotes.

6. Inheritance of Spine Color in Fruits and its Linkage with Netting Fruit of Cucumber

S. Shanmugasundaram and P.H. Williams

Department of Plant Pathology, University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin, 53706

Contrary to reports in the literature on inheritance of fruit spine color, F2 and bc1 data obtained from a cross between line 9362 and PI 212233 indicated that the black spine is governed by either of two dominant genes (BC). The homozygous recessive (bbcc) produced white spine. It is suggested that in the cultivars used in prior genetic analyses on spine color either B or C was fixed so that the character segregated as if it was monogenic.

Crosses were also made between black spined, netted fruit plants (PI 197085) and smooth white spined plants (PI 234517 and Polaris). The F2 gave a crossing over value of 11 percent and 12.5 percent for the two crosses whereas the backcross gave a crossing over a percentage of 17.5 percent and 19.12 percent. The netting in the white spine fruit appears like cracking.

7. TAMU 950, A Hermaphroditic Inbred Line of Cucumber

L.M. Pike and W.A. Mulkey

Horticulture Section, Soil and Crop Science Dept., Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas, 77843

A new cucumber breeding line, TAMU 950, has been developed and demonstrated to be homozygous for the hermaphroditic sex expression. This line was derived from an original cross between "Crystal Apple", an andromonoecious line, and a Michigan State University breeding line exhibiting a predominately female sex expression. The hermaphroditic line exhibits similar plant and fruit characteristics as the original Crystal Apple variety. Crosses between TAMU 950 and gynoecious lines exhibited 100% femaleness in the F1 generation.

Hybrids developed using the hermaphrodite for the male parent eliminated the unpredictable number of staminate flowers on the F1. This allows for precise quantities of a desired pollinator to be added to hybrids. Delayed planting of pollinator rows can be accomplished if desired. Future development of parthenocarpic hybrids will be possible as the hermaphroditic x gynoecious hybrid will produce no staminate flowers. TAMU 950 is being increased for release to cucumber breeders. Seed requests should be sent to the senior author.

8. Promising Baby Limas

R.E. Wester

U.S. Department of Agriculture, Beltsville, Md. 20705

Four new promising green-seeded lima bean lines (568BG, 968BG, 1069BG, and 1168BG) were increased by seedsmen in 1970. These lines tested at Georgetown, Delaware; Beltsville, Maryland; and Bridgeton, New Jersey, were 6 to 8 days earlier than Dover with shorter plants. These lines are resistant to downy mildew strains A and B, and have greener seed coats and cotyledons than Thaxter, Early Thorogreen, and Dover. In the majority of trials, these four lines were more productive than Thaxter. Since the beans mature at one time, they are adapted for mechanical harvesting. All are vigorous germinators. A limited amount of seed of three of these lines are available in 1971 for testing by experiment station workers, seedsmen, and commercial lima bean growers.

9. Promising Fordhook Limas

R.E. Wester

U.S. Department of Agriculture, Beltsville, Md. 20705

Three new green-seeded Fordhook lines, U.S. 169G, U.S. 269G, and 369G, resistant to downy mildew strains A and B, were increased by a commercial seedsman in California in 1969. These were tested at Seabrook, New Jersey, and Beltsville, Maryland, in 1970. These are earlier than green Fordhook 861, are stronger germinators and have greener seed coats and cotyledons. Since the pods mature at one time, they are adapted to mechanical harvesting. A limited amount of seed of these three lines are available in 1971 for testing by experiment station workers, seedsmen, and commercial lima bean growers.

10. Advanced Breeding Lines of Muskmelon and Tomato from Harrow, Ontario

V.W. Nuttall

Research Station, Harrow, Ontario, Canada

The following are descriptive lists of advanced breeding lines of muskmelon and tomato developed, with the exception of one tomato, by L.F. Ounsworth, who transferred to Ottawa a year ago. They are comparatively stable lines in the F6 or more advanced generations. They can be considered "near varieties". Each lines has one or more valuable plant traits in addition to resistance to specific soil-borne pathogens as described.

The Canada Department of Agriculture and, more specifically, the Research Station at Harrow, is please to make this material available. All requests for seed for sampling out should be directed to V.S. Nuttall at Harrow. All of the seed is stored at this station in a controlled environment to retain maximum longevity.



11. Notice to Seedsmen Regarding Release of Two Root Rot Resistant, Canning Pea Breeding Lines, PH-14-119 And PH-91-3

The Plant Science Research Division of the Agricultural Research Service and the College of Agriculture, Washington State University, announce the release of PH-14-119 and PH-91-3, two canning pea breeding lines with resistance to the root rot complex caused by Fusarium solani f. pisi and Pythium spp. prevalent in Eastern Washington. Both lines are F7 selections. They are being released as breeding lines, not as commercial varieties.


The parentage of PH-14-119 is C-165 (a University of Wisconsin selection resistant to common and near wilt, Fusarium oxysporum f. pisi x P.I. 140295 (resistant to common pea mosaic, enation virus, as well as the Fusarium and Pythium root rot complex). PH-14-119 has been evaluated for resistance to root rot in the field and greenhouse in infested soil for the past three years. It is not immune to this root rot complex, but carries a high degree of resistance. It consistently sets pods at Prosser under conditions of root rot infestation that kills standard commercial varieties. PH-14-119 is single and double podded (4-8 pods/plant), white-flowered, and flowers in the 11-13th node.


The parentage of PH-91-3 is (Perfected Freezer 60, a New York State release, x P.I. 166159) x (Early Perfection 3040 x C-165). Plant Introduction No. 166159 and Early Perfection 3040 are both sources of resistance or tolerance to the Fusarium and Pythium root rot complex. PH-91-3 remains vigorous and yields well in soil where Dark Skin Perfection and other root rot-susceptible peas are destroyed. It varies between 60-100 percent resistant to near wilt. PH-91-3 is white-flowered and double-podded and flowers in the 12-13th node. PH-14-119 and PH-91-3 have not been screened for common mosaic pea streak or enation mosaic virus. They are susceptible to Rhizoctonia solani, another root rotting organism which can be a problem, and to Race 5 of pea wilt which occurs in western Washington.

A limited quantity of seed is available for pro rata distribution to bona fide pea breeders and seed producers who make written request to J.M. Kraft, Irrigated Agriculture Research and Extension Center, Prosser, Washington, 99350, on or before April 15, 1971. It is suggested that in order to maintain the high level of resistance to root rot, crosses between the two lines be made for development of commercial types instead of by crossing either line to a root rot-susceptible variety or breeding line.

12. Possible Usefulness of Hybrid Butternut Squash Highly Stable for Fruit Shape

Dermot P. Coyne

University of Nebraska, Lincoln, Nebraska, 68503

Butternut squash is considered to be one of the most popular types of squash grown in many parts of the United States. A poor seed stock of 'Butternut' may have a high percentage of plants bearing crookneck fruit. An important objective is to develop a true large-fruited 'Butternut' squash stable for fruit shape. The small-fruited New Hampshire Butternut (NHBN) squash is stable for fruit shape. 'Waltham Butternut', a large-fruited, attractive and recent introduction is reported to be free of crooknecks. The cultivar 'Hercules', once stable for fruit shape, now shows a large number of off-type fruit. Pearson (HortScience 3:271-274) noted that when 'NHBN' was used as the female parent in crosses with 'Crookneck' types (derived from 'Butternut'), plants with 'Butternut' shape fruit were produced in the F1 while in the reciprocal cross, both 'Butternut' and 'Crookneck' plants were produced. This breeding behavior was confirmed by the author in one cross but plants producing 'Butternut' and some dimorphic plants only were observed in the reciprocal F1 of another cross (Table 1). Coyne (HortScience 5:227-228) reported that a repeated application, Ethrel 250 ppm, applied to NHBN was effective in producing a female line of this cultivar. 'NHBN' and a pollinator line were grown at two different locations in isolation. Ethrel was used to develop a female line of 'NHBN'. The pollinators used at each location were 'Waltham Butternut' and 'Crookneck' (67-1-7) derived from 'Butternut'. The parents and F1 hybrids were grown in early and late planting trials in Lincoln in 1970. A randomized complete block design consisting of five replications was used for each trial.

Both F1 hybrids approached their respective high parents for mean fruit weight and for mean fruit number per plot (Table 2). There was no significant difference between total fruit yield per plot of both hybrids and their respective high parents. The 'Crookneck' (67-1-7) parent produced 100 percent crookneck fruit. There was no significant difference in number of crooked fruit per plot between all of the other parents and hybrids. It is important to distinguish between crooked and crookneck fruit. In the crookneck fruit, the neck is elongated and is crooked. Some fruit are also crooked without the elongated neck and a small number of these types were observed in 'Waltham Butternut' and 'NHBN'. No crookneck fruit were observed in these latter two parents. A small number of dimorphic plants, plants producing both 'Crookneck' and 'Butternut' fruit occurred in both hybrids. No plants producing all 'Crookneck' fruit were observed in either hybrid. A high frequency of 'Crookneck' fruit in commercial stocks of 'Butternut' is quite common.

The idea behind this research was to develop a method to produce F1 hybrids of 'Butternut' squash with a low 'Crookneck' frequency and to overcome the difficult selection problem of maintaining 'Butternut' relatively free of the 'Crookneck' rogue. If 'Waltham Butternut', in future years, becomes unstable in fruit shape like 'Hercules' then the method described in this report may prove of value in producing hybrid squash with a low crookneck value. Perhaps there is a need, at the present time, for a smaller 'Butternut' fruit than 'Waltham Butternut' in some markets and certain F1 hybrids could satisfy this need.

Table 1. Shape of fruit on plants in parents and F NHBN x Crookneck crosses.

Number of Plants
Crookneck 67-1-7
Crookneck Golden Cushaw (Agway)
F1 NHBN x Crookneck 67-1-7
F1 Crookneck 67-1-7 x NHBN
F1 NHBN x Crookneck Golden Cushaw (Agway)
F1 Crookneck Golden Cushaw (Agway) x NHBN


Table 2. Performance of F1 Butternut squash hybrids derived from crosses of a female line of NHBN (treated with Ethrel) with a Crookneck squash (67-1-7) and Waltham Butternut in two trials in Nebraska in 1970.

Number Plants per plot
Total Wt. plot (0.01 lb.)
Total Fruit No. plot
Mean Fruit Wt. (0.01 lb.)
Number of Crooked fruit plot
% Number Crooked Fruit
% Crookneck plants
Trial #1 (Early Planting)
Waltham Butternut
4.8 a1
144.9 a
51.2 ab
2.8 a
1.2 b2
2.1 b
Crookneck 67-1-7
4.2 a
87.7 c
38.2 b
2.3 b
38.2 a
100.0 a
5.4 a
79.4 c
62.8 a
1.3 c
2.8 b
4.3 b
F1 NHBN x Cr 67-1-7
4.6 a
105.8 bc
51.2 ab
2.1 b
3.0 b
5.2 b
F1 NHBN x Waltham Butternut
5.4 a
130.9 ab
59.8 a
2.2 b
3.4 b
5.6 b
Trial #2 (Later Planting)
Waltham Butternut
5.8 a
127.6 a
43.6 bc
2.9 a
2.8 b
3.7 c
Crookneck 67-1-7
4.8 b
77.5 c
32.2 c
2.4 b
32.2 a
100.0 c
5.4 ab
76.0 bc
64.2 a
1.2 c
2.8 b
4.2 c
F1 NHBN x Cr 67-1-7
5.6 ab
106.7 ab
60.0 a
1.8 b
5.2 b
8.3 bc
F1 NHBN x Waltham Butternut
5.6 ab
123.1 a
50.2 ab
2.5 b
5.2 b
10.7 b

1 Means followed by a common letter are not significantly different at the 5% probability level.

2 Some crooked Butternut fruit were observed in Waltham Butternut and NHBN while crookneck fruit with long necks were observed in the other entries.

13. Progress Report on the Use of N28 as a Source of Better Root System in Sweet Corn

Stuart N. Smith

Sweet Corn Genetic Service, 808 E. Lincoln Way, Ames, Iowa

A year ago a report was made on efforts to transfer the massive root system of the Nebraska inbred, N28, to certain inbred lines of sweet corn. Manu valuable inbreds are quite susceptible to root lodging whereas the N28 is virtually windproof unless severely damaged by root worms. Twenty-eight F1 hybrids between wind susceptible sweet corn lines and N28 were studied at Ames in 1969. All were found to be highly resistant to root lodging, suggesting a good degree of dominance for wind resistance. One would expect a trait like this to be dependent upon the action of several genes. In 1970 sixteen backcrosses were studied which consisted of susceptible by N28 by susceptible. Fifty mile winds with an inch and a half of rain struck the Nursery just after silking dates and gave an excellent chance to observe natural resistance on sixteen of the backcrossed progenies. All showed good to excellent resistance following the storm. If one or two major genes were responsible for the wind resistance, signs of rather definite segregation would have appeared, so evidently several factors are involved. One progeny was tested where it had been backcrossed twice to the susceptible parent. The plants here ranged from good to only fair in wind resistance. Apparently, it would take large populations to retain the character in a few plants if more than one backcross is used. Since N28 is much later than most sweet corn, it is suggested that susceptible sweet corn lines in the early to extra early class be matched with N28 unless one wants to obtain sweet corn inbreds later than those commonly used.

14. Uncatalogued Vegetable Varieties Available for Trial in 1971

This list is aimed at facilitating the exchange of information about potential new varieties, or new varieties which have not yet appeared in catalogues. Persons conducting vegetable variety trials who wish seed of items on this list should request samples from the sources indicated.

It is the responsibility of the person sending out seed to specify that it is for trial only, or any other restriction he may want to place on its use.

Crops are listed alphabetically. For each entry the following information is given: Designation, source of trial samples, outstanding characteristics, variety suggested for comparison (not given separately if mentioned in description), status of variety (preliminary trial, advanced trial, to be released, or released) and contributor of information if different from source of trial samples. Where several samples are listed consecutively from one source, the address is given only for the first.

15. Stocks Desired

Richard R. Bergquist, Hawaii Agricultural Experiment Station, University of Hawaii, Kapaa, Kauai, Hawaii 96746

We would like to know how the different genes for resistant or tolerance react to several pathogens we have in Hawaii. These studies will be conducted with pure strains of the viruses or fungi. I feel it would be helpful to know how resistance genes from widely separated sources respond to viruses we have isolated from different hosts.

Stocks Desired
Resistance or tolerance to:
1. Cucumber:
a. Cucumber mosaic
b. Watermelon mosaic
c. Powdery mildew
d. Downy mildew
e. Anthracnose
2. Pepper:
a. Tobacco mosaic
b. Tomato spotted wilt
c. Tobacco etch
d. Potato virus y
e. Bacterial leaf spot (Xanthomonas vesicatoria)
3. Tomato:
a. Tomato spotted wilt
b. Tobacco mosaic

L.M. Pike, Soil & Crop Science Department, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas 77843 requests A&B lines of carrots and onions with brief note on characteristics of each. Both long and short day type onions desired.

Paul G. Smith, Department of Vegetable Crops, University of California, Davis, California 95616

Tomato: Any tomato with market-sized fruit and vines suitable for machine harvesting.