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By Ep Heuvelink

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Sample text

Each fruit can carry more than 100 seeds, each cluster about ten fruits and each plant five to 25 clusters. Starting with ten plants at the beginning of the season, it is easy to obtain thousands of seeds per plant. Just as in the production of tomato fruits, seed production is influenced by environmental factors such as light intensity, soil conditions and nutrients. Stress conditions may have an adverse effect on the germination of the seed and on seedling vigour. Harvesting and extracting seeds before full maturity is detrimental to seed viability and further germination.

HEAT RESISTANCE In most parts of the world, high temperatures during growth of tomato plants in summer can affect production negatively. One of the most sensitive stages is fruit set. Most cultivars lose their blossom after 4 h at 40°C or a day/night temperature regime of 34°C/20°C, though this may vary between genotypes and depends on humidity and soil moisture. Factors involved in heat resistance have been well characterized and heat-resistant germplasm is available. Factors that are involved in heat resistance are photosynthesis, translocation, flower production, flower morphology (stigma exsertion), anther dehiscence, pollen viability and pollen germination.

2000) (Fig. 6). , 1999). QTL mapping As the genotype of a plant cannot be directly deduced from the plant phenotype, a different approach is needed when interest lies with ‘field’ or quantitative resistance. A segregating population (with regard to both marker polymorphisms and observed disease severity) is screened and correlations between marker genotypes and disease severity are calculated along the linkage map. In this way, for each position on the genome, the probability that a quantitative trait locus (QTL) is present is determined.

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