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Theor Appl Genet. 2004 Jul;109(2):342-51. Epub 2004 Mar 10.

Phenotypic and molecular evaluation of a recurrent selection program for a polygenic resistance to Phytophthora capsici in pepper.

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  • 1Genetics and Breeding of Fruits and Vegetables, Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique, BP94, 84143 Montfavet Cedex, France.


'Criollo de Morelos 334' (CM334) is one of the most promising sources of resistance to Phytophthora capsici in pepper. This Mexican accession is distantly related to bell pepper and its resistance displays a complex inheritance. The QTLs involved in resistance to P. capsici were previously mapped. In order to transfer the resistance factors from CM334 into a bell pepper genetic background, a modified, recurrent breeding scheme was initiated. The breeding population was divided into three sub-populations which were screened by distinct phenotypic tests of increasing severity. The plants from the first sub-population were screened with low-severity tests and backcrossed to the susceptible bell pepper; the plants from the second and third sub-populations were screened by more severe resistance tests and crossed with the plants from the first and second sub-populations, respectively. In this study, the phenotypic data for the three sub-populations during five screening/intermating cycles were analysed. In parallel, the changes in allelic frequencies at molecular markers linked to the resistance QTLs were reported. The resistance phenotype and allelic frequencies strongly depended on the sub-population and screening severity. Regarding allelic frequency changes across the selection cycles, a loss of resistant QTL alleles was observed in the first sub-population, particularly for the low-effect QTLs, whereas a better conservation of the resistant QTL alleles was observed in the two other sub-populations. The same trend was observed in the phenotypic data with an increasing resistance level from the first to the third sub-populations. The changes in the allelic frequencies of loci not linked to resistance QTLs and for horticultural traits across the breeding process indicated that the recovery of the recipient parent genome was not significantly affected by the selection for resistance.

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