Identification of molecular genetic markers associated with seedlessness in grapes: Demonstration of
Marker Assisted Selection (MAS).

M.J. Striem; G.Ben-Hayyim; P. Spiegel-Roy.

Dept. of Fruit Tree Breeding and Genetics, Institute of Horticulture, Volcani Center, ARO. Bet Dagan 50-250, Israel.

Key words:
Vitis vinifera, preselection, breeding, stenospermocarpy, random amplified polymorphic DNA, PCR.

As has been published in: (1996) J. Amer.Soc. Hort. Sci. 121(5) : 758-763.

Abstract.

Excluding seeded offsprings at an early stage would be of great value to the breeder concerned with seedless grapes (Vitis vinifera) .
We employed random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) technique for producing molecular genetic markers, analysing 82
individuals of a progeny resulting from the cross between Early Muscat (seeded) and Flame Seedless. Seven variables representing the
trait of seedlessness were analysed: mean fresh weight of one seed (mg.); total fresh weight of seeds per berry (mg.); seed contents
evaluated by perceptibility; seed size categories evaluated visually; degree of hardness of the seed coat; degree of development of the
endosperm and degree of development of the embryo. Out of 160 different 10mer primers, 110 gave a distinct band pattern. 12
markers gave significant correlations with several of the seven subtraits of seedlessness, mainly with the quantitative ones. Multiple
linear regression analysis resulted in higher coefficients when 7 markers were included as independent variables in the model (f.e.
R=0.779, with fresh weight of seeds per berry). Significant correlations with muscat flavor were found with 11 markers, and 16
markers gave significant correlations with berry color. In multiple regression analysis, when four markers were included in the model,
correlations were R=0.935 for muscat flavor, and R=0.898 for berry color. The higher correlations with taste and color may be due to
fewer genes being involved in controlling these traits than with seedlessness.
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