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Development of table and raisin grapes with high anthocyanins using a leaf disk assay

Ramming, D. W., Cousins, P.
Acta horticulturae 2014 no.1046 pp. 291-295
anthocyanins, antioxidants, backcrossing, color, dominant genes, early development, flowers, greenhouses, heterozygosity, homozygosity, leaves, phytochemicals, progeny, raisin grapes, seedlings, small fruits, table grapes, wine grapes, wines
Anthocyanins are considered an excellent source of antioxidant phytochemicals for health benefits. The majority of wine, table and raisin grapes have anthocyanins only in their colored skin. Anthocyanin content of grapes would be increased if their flesh also contained anthocyanins. C33-30, a seedless female flowered table grape with red skin and clear flesh berries was hybridized with the 'Rubired' wine grape, which has black skin and red flesh berries. The F1 progeny segregated in a 3 colored:1 white skin and 1 red:1 clear flesh ratio for colored berries. The seedling expressing the highest level of anthocyanin in the flesh and skin was similar to 'Rubired'. Seven modified backcross families were created by crossing red flesh seeded F1 selections with seedless red skin table or white skin raisin grapes. Skin color segregated as a single dominant gene as expected. One red flesh parent was heterozygous for skin color and the rest were homozygous. Only seedlings with colored skin had red flesh. Flesh color segregated as a 1 red:1 clear in three of the families or in a 2:1 ratio or higher in four families. One red flesh parent produced an abnormally high percentage (>80%) of red flesh seedlings. Leaf color in the leaf disk assay correlated well with flesh color in the F1 family. Seedlings that developed 0 to 20% anthocyanin in the leaf disk assay had clear flesh with white, red or black skin (32% of BC1 population). However 19% of red flesh seedlings would have been discarded using this selection criterion. Part of this discrepancy is due to the fact that leaves taken too early in their development from greenhouse grown plants did not develop anthocyanin.