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Characterization and selection of passion fruit (yellow and purple) accessions based on molecular markers and disease reactions for use in breeding programs

C. B. M. Cerqueira-Silva, O. N. Jesus, E. J. Oliveira, E. S. L. Santos, A. P. Souza
Euphytica 2015 v.202 no.3 pp. 345-359
Passiflora edulis f. edulis, Passion fruit woodiness virus, alleles, analysis of variance, anthracnose, color, cultivars, disease resistance, fruits, fungi, genetic markers, genetic resistance, loci, microsatellite repeats, passion fruits, pathogens, plant breeding, viruses, Brazil
Passiflora edulis Sims, which is native to South America, stands out as a passion fruit species with major potential for fruit production and marketing. This species is popularly known as yellow or purple passion fruit, depending on the color of the fruits produced. Brazil is the major worldwide producer of passion fruit; however, the average productivity of the country is low compared with its potential for culture. Fungal, bacterial and viral pathogens are among the factors limiting the productivity of passion fruit. Furthermore, no existing cultivars exhibit both productivity and resistance to disease. To select genetic material that will be useful for core collections and for increasing the genetic resistance of passion fruit cultivars to pathogens, we characterized 36 accessions based on 23 microsatellite loci and six variables related to the reactions to three diseases (woodiness virus, scab and anthracnose). We identified 127 alleles (an average of 5.52 alleles per locus), 30 % of which were private for yellow or purple passion fruit accessions. Analysis of variance and mean comparison tests indicated differences in five of the six variables (p < 0.05, Scott-Knott test). Differences between the average reactions of the yellow and purple passion fruit accessions were also observed for the symptoms of woodiness virus and anthracnose (p < 0.05, Mann–Whitney test).Together with these results, molecular and phenotypic estimates allowed the identification of groups of preferential accessions for use in breeding programs, for example, accessions BGP029, 071, 168, 205 and 277.