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Genetic Variation and Gains in Resistance of Strawberry to Colletotrichum gloeosporioides

January 2014 , Volume 104 , Number  1
Pages  67 - 74

L. F. Osorio, J. A. Pattison, N. A. Peres, and V. M. Whitaker

First, third, and fourth authors: University of Florida, Gulf Coast Research and Education Center, 14625 CR 672, Wimauma 33598; and second author: Department of Horticulture Science, North Carolina State University, Raleigh.

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Accepted for publication 21 August 2013.

Anthracnose crown rot is an important disease of strawberry primarily caused by Colletotrichum gloeosporioides in Florida and North Carolina. Information on the magnitude of additive and nonadditive genetic variation is required to define breeding strategies and to estimate potential genetic gains. However, little is known about the genetic control of resistance and its utility in breeding. Our objectives were to obtain estimates of heritabilities and of components of genetic variances, genotype–environment interactions, and gains for resistance, and to examine the effects of locations and transplant types on the estimates. An incomplete diallel mating design generated 42 full-sib families, which were propagated in plugs from seed (seedling tests) and as bare-root runner plants (clonal tests) of different genotypes of the same families. Both seedlings and clones were inoculated with C. gloeosporioides under field conditions in North Carolina and Florida during the 2010–11 season. Narrow-sense heritability (h2) and broad-sense heritability (H2) for both clones and seedlings were higher at the North Carolina location (h2 = 0.34 to 0.62 and H2 = 0.46 to 0.85) than at the Florida location (h2 = 0.16 to 0.22 and H2 = 0.37 to 0.46). Likewise, the seedling tests showed higher genetic control than the clonal tests at both locations. Estimates of dominance variance were approximately one-third of the additive variance at North Carolina and were even larger at Florida. Epistasis was negative at both locations and assumed zero for heritability (H2) calculations. Genotype–environment interactions were different by transplant type, suggesting rank changes across locations. ‘Pelican’ was the most resistant parent at both locations, followed by ‘NCH09-68’ at the NC location and ‘Winter Dawn’ at the Florida location. Selection and deployment of the most resistant clone within each of the five best families is estimated to produce average genetic gains of 53.0 and 73.7% at the North Carolina and Florida locations, respectively.

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