The effectiveness of directional phenotypic selection to improve tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.) seed germination under salt-stress was investigated. Seed of F2 and F3 progeny of F1 hybrids between a salt- tolerant (PI 174263) and a salt-sensitive (UCT5) tomato cultivar were evaluated for germination response at three stress levels of 100 (low), 150 (intermediate), and 200 mM (high) synthetic sea salt (SSS). At each salt- stress level, the most tolerant individuals, as determined by the germination speed, were selected. Selected individuals (F2s or F3s) were grown to maturity and self-pollinated to produce F3 and F4 progeny families. The selected progeny from each experiment were evaluated for germination at four treatment levels of 0 (nonstress), 100, 150, and 200 mM SSS and were compared with unselected populations. The results indicated that selections were equally effective at all three salt-stress levels and in F2 and F3 generations and significantly improved seed germination of progeny under salt-stress and nonstress treatments. Estimates of realized heritability for rapid germination under the various salt-stress levels ranged from 0.67 to 0.76. Analysis of response and correlated response to selection indicated a genetic correspondence of up to 100% between germination at different salt- stress levels. Genotypic family correlations between germination at the low, intermediate, and high salt-stress levels ranged from 0.67 to 0.89, and those between nonstress and salt-stress conditions ranged from 0.25 (between 0 and 200 mM) to 0.71 (between 0 and 100 mM salt). The results indicated that similar or identical genes with additive genetic effects contributed to rapid germination response of tomato seeds at different salt-stress levels. Thus, selection at one stress level resulted in progeny with improved germination at diverse salt-stress levels. The results also indicated that to improve tomato seed germination, selection can be based on individual seed performance and early segregating generations.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science|
|State||Published - Nov 1996|
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