, Volume 186, Issue 2, pp 517–538 | Cite as

Characterization of interspecific hybrids and first backcross generations from crosses between two cultivated eggplants (Solanum melongena and S. aethiopicum Kumba group) and implications for eggplant breeding

  • Jaime Prohens
  • Mariola Plazas
  • María D. Raigón
  • José M. Seguí-Simarro
  • John R. Stommel
  • Santiago Vilanova


Common (Solanum melongena L.) and scarlet (S. aethiopicum L.) eggplants are cultivated for their fruits and form part of the same genepool. We have studied plant and fruit characteristics, pollen viability and seed set, phenolics content, and fruit flesh browning in accessions of S. melongena and S. aethiopicum Kumba group, as well as interspecific hybrids between these species and first backcross generations to each parental species. Respective genotypes were also characterized with seven polymorphic SSR markers. The results demonstrate that many differences exist for plant and fruit morphology among S. melongena, S. aethiopicum and the interspecific hybrids. The latter are very vigorous and generally intermediate between the two parents, except for fruit size which is smaller (and parthenocarpic due to a high pollen sterility) than those of any of the parents. Backcross progenies also exhibited morphological variation with moderate heritability values for the attributes evaluated. Variation for fruit size was present in the backcross generations but fruits were small resulting in little variation for fruit shape. Backcross plants with moderate fertility produced seeded fruits. Primary hybrids had fruit phenolics content similar to that of S. aethiopicum, the parent with lowest phenolics concentration, and were heterotic for fruit flesh browning. Backcross progenies were quite variable for both traits. SSR markers did not reveal segregation distortion in the backcross generations for these interspecific hybrids. The results demonstrate that generations derived from sexual interspecific hybridization can be a powerful tool for S. melongena and S. aethiopicum Kumba group breeding.


Backcrosses Descriptors Solanum melongena Solanum aethiopicum SSRs Tomato analyzer 



This work was partially financed by the Ministerio de Ciencia y Tecnología (AGL2009-07257 and RF-2008-00008-00-00).


  1. Baixauli C (2001) Berenjena. In: Nuez F, Llácer G (eds) La horticultura española. Ediciones de Horticultura, Reus, pp 104–108Google Scholar
  2. Barchi L, Lanteri S, Portis E, Stàgel A, Valè G, Toppino L, Rotino GL (2010) Segregation distortion and linkage analysis in eggplant (Solanum melongena L.). Genome 53:805–815PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Behera TK, Singh N (2002) Inter-specific crosses between eggplant (Solanum melongena L.) with related Solanum species. Sci Hort 95:165–172CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bletsos F, Roupakias D, Tsaktsira M, Scaltsoyjannes A (2004) Production and characterization of interspecific hybrids between three eggplant (Solanum melongena L.) cultivars and Solanum macrocarpon L. Sci Hort 101:11–321CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Brewer MT, Lang L, Fujimura K, Dujmovic N, Gray S, van der Knaap E (2006) Development of a controlled vocabulary and software application to analyze fruit shape variation in tomato and other plant species. Plant Physiol 141:15–25PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Brewer MT, Moyseenko JB, Monforte AJ, van der Knaap E (2007) Morphological variation in tomato: a comprehensive study of quantitative trait loci controlling fruit shape and development. J Exp Bot 58:1339–1349Google Scholar
  7. Brewer M, Rodríguez G, Gonzalo MJ, Anderson C, Lang L, Sullivan D, Dujmovic N, Fujimuro, K, Gray S, van der Knaap E (2008). Tomato analyzer user manual version Accessed 15 Jan 2011
  8. Cappelli C, Stravato VM, Rotino GL, Buonaurio R (1995) Sources of resistance among Solanum spp. to an Italian isolate of Fusarium oxysporum f sp. melongenae. Proceedings of the 9th EUCARPIA meeting on genetics and breeding of capsicum and eggplant, pp 221–224Google Scholar
  9. Chetelat RT, Meglic V, Cisneros P (2000) A genetic map of tomato based on BC1 Lycopersicon esculentum × Solanum lycopersicoides reveals overall synteny but suppressed recombination between these two homeologous genomes. Genetics 154:857–867PubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. Collonnier C, Fock I, Kashyap V, Rotino GL, Daunay MC, Lian Y, Mariska IK, Rajam MV, Servaes A, Ducreux G, Sihachakr D (2001a) Applications of biotechnology in eggplant. Plant Cell, Tissue Organ Cult 65:91–107CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Collonnier C, Mulya K, Fock I, Mariska I, Servaes A, Vedel F, Siljak-Yakovlev S, Souvannavong V, Ducreux G, Sihachakr D (2001b) Source of resistance against Ralstonia solanacearum in fertile somatic hybrids of eggplant (Solanum melongena L.) with Solanum aethiopicum L. Plant Sci 160:301–313PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Cuartero J, Costa J, Nuez F (1987) Problems of determining parthenocarpy in tomato plants. Sci Hort 32:9–15CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Daunay MC (2008) Eggplant. In: Prohens J, Nuez F (eds) Handbook of plant breeding: vegetables II. Springer, New York, pp 163–220Google Scholar
  14. Daunay MC, Lester RN, Laterrot H (1991) The use of wild species for the genetic improvement of brinjal eggplant (Solanum melongena) and tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum). In: Hawkes JH, Lester RN, Nee M, Estrada N (eds) Solanaceae III: taxonomy, chemistry, evolution. The Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, Richmond, pp 389–413Google Scholar
  15. Daunay MC, Chaput MH, Sihachakr D, Allot M, Vedel F, Ducreux G (1993) Production and characterization of fertile somatic hybrids of eggplant (Solanum melongena L.) with Solanum aethiopicum L. Theor Appl Genet 85:841–850CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Doganlar S, Frary A, Daunay MC, Lester RN, Tanksley SD (2002) A comparative genetic linkage map of eggplant (Solanum melongena) and its implications for genome evolution in the Solanaceae. Genetics 161:1697–1711PubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. Gisbert C, Prohens J, Raigón MD, Stommel JR, Nuez F (2011) Eggplant relatives as sources of variation for developing new rootstocks: effects of grafting on eggplant yield and fruit apparent quality and composition. Sci Hort 128:14–22CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Gonzalo MJ, van der Knaap E (2008) A comparative analysis into the genetic bases of morphology in tomato varieties exhibiting elongated fruit shape. Theor Appl Genet 116:647–656PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Gonzalo MJ, Brewer MT, Anderson C, Sullivan D, Gray S, van der Knaap E (2009) Tomato fruit shape analysis using morphometric and morphology attributes implemented in Tomato Analyzer software program. J Am Soc Hort Sci 134:77–87Google Scholar
  20. Hébert Y (1985) Comparative resistance of nine species of the genes Solanum to bacterial wilt (Psedomonas solanacearum) and the nematode Meloidogyne incognita. Implications for the breeding of aubergine (S. melongena) in the humid tropical zone. Agronomie 5:27–32CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Isshiki S, Taura T (2003) Fertility restoration of hybrids between Solanum melongena L. and S. aethiopicum L. Gilo group by chromosome doubling and cytoplasmic effect on pollen fertility. Euphytica 134:195–201CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Khan MMR, Isshiki S ((2010)) Development of the male-sterile line of eggplant utilizing the cytoplasm of Solanum aethiopicum L. Aculeatum group. J Jpn Soc Hort Sci 79((4)):348–353Google Scholar
  23. Khatun S, Flowers TJ (1995) The estimation of pollen viability in rice. J Exp Bot 46:151–154CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Kikuchi K, Honda I, Matsuo S, Fukuda M, Saito T (2008) Stability of fruit set of newly selected parthenocarpic eggplant lines. Sci Hort 115:111–116CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Kreike CM, Stiekema WJ (1997) Reduced recombination and distorted segregation in a Solanum tuberosum (2x) × S. spegazzinii (2x) hybrid. Genome 40:180–187PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Lester RN (1986) Taxonomy of scarlett eggplants, Solanum aethiopicum L. Acta Hort 182:125–132Google Scholar
  27. Lester RN, Hasan SMZ (1991) Origin and domestication of the brinjal egg-plant, Solanum melongena, from S. incanum, in Africa and Asia. In: Hawkes JG, Lester RN, Nee M, Estrada N (eds) Solanaceae III: taxonomy, chemistry, evolution. Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, Richmond, pp 369–387Google Scholar
  28. Lester RN, Hakiza JJH, Stavropoulos N, Teixeira MM (1986) Variation patterns in the African scarlett eggplant, Solanum aethiopicum L. In: Styles BT (ed) Infraspecific classification of wild and cultivated plants. Clarendon Press, Oxford, pp 283–307Google Scholar
  29. Little T, Hills J (1978) Agricultural experimentation: design and analysis. Wiley, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  30. Luthria D, Singh AP, Wilson T, Vorsa N, Banuelos GS, Vinyard BT (2010) Influence of conventional and organic agricultural practices on the phenolic content in eggplant pulp: plant-to-plant variation. Food Chem 121:406–411CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Mennella G, Rotino GL, Fibiani M, D’Alessandro A, Francese G, Toppino L, Cavallanti F, Acciarri N, Lo Scalzo R (2010) Characterization of health-related compounds in eggplant (Solanum melongena L.) lines derived from introgression of allied species. J Agric Food Chem 58:7597–7603PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Muñoz-Falcón JE, Prohens J, Vilanova S, Nuez F (2008) Characterization, diversity, and relationships of the Spanish striped (Listada) eggplants: a model for the enhancement and protection of local heirlooms. Euphytica 164:405–419CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Muñoz-Falcón JE, Prohens J, Vilanova S, Nuez F (2009) Diversity in commercial varieties and landraces of black eggplants and implications for broadening the breeders gene pool. Ann Appl Biol 154:453–465CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Nunome T, Negoro S, Kono I, Kanamori H, Miyatake K, Yamaguchi H, Ohyama A, Fukuoka H (2009) Development of SSR markers derived from SSR-enriched genomic library of eggplant (Solanum melongena L.). Theor Appl Genet 119:1143–1153PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Oyelana OA, Ogunwenmo KO (2009) Nuclear and non-nuclear interactions in F-1 hybrid populations of three Solanum species in the subgenus Leptostemonum, section Melongena (Solanaceae). Turk J Bot 33:243–255Google Scholar
  36. Oyelana OA, Ugborogho RE (2008) Phenotypic variation of F1 and F2 populations from three species of Solanum L. (Solanaceae). Afr J Biotechnol 7:2359–2367Google Scholar
  37. Polignano G, Uggenti P, Bisignano V, Della Gatta C (2010) Genetic divergence in eggplant (Solanum melongena L.) and allied species. Genet Res Crop Evol 57:171–181CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Prohens J, Nuez F (2001) The effects of genetic parthenocarpy on pepino (Solanum muricatum) yield and quality. J Hort Sci Biotechnol 76:101–106Google Scholar
  39. Prohens J, Blanca JM, Nuez F (2005) Morphological and molecular variation in a collection of eggplant from a secondary center of diversity: implications for conservation and breeding. J Am Soc Hort Sci 130:54–63Google Scholar
  40. Prohens J, Rodríguez-Burruezo A, Raigón MD, Nuez F (2007) Total phenolic concentration and browning susceptibility in a collection of different varietal types and hybrids of eggplant: implications for breeding for higher nutritional quality and reduced browning. J Am Soc Hort Sci 132:638–646Google Scholar
  41. Rizza F, Mennella G, Collonnier C, Sihachakr D, Kashyap V, Rajam MV, Presterà M, Rotino GL (2002) Androgenic dihaploids from somatic hybrids between Solanum melongena and S. aethiopicum group gilo as a source of resistance to Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. melongenae. Plant Cell Rep 20:1022–1032CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Sambandam CN (1964) Natural cross pollination in eggplant (Solanum melongena). Econ Bot 18:128–131CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Sánchez-Mata MC, Yokoyama WE, Hong YJ, Prohens J (2010) α-solasonine and α-solamargine contents of gboma (Solanum macrocarpon L.) and scarlet (S. aethiopicum L.) eggplants. J Agric Food Chem 58:5502–5508PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Schaff DA, Jelenkovic G, Boyer CD, Pollack BL (1982) Hybridization and fertility of hybrid derivatives of Solanum melongena L. and Solanum macrocarpon L. Theor Appl Genet 62:149–153CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Schippers RR (2000) African indigenous vegetables: an overview of the cultivated species. CAB International, WallingfordGoogle Scholar
  46. Schuelke M (2000) An economic method for the fluorescent labeling of PCR fragments. Nat Biotechnol 18:233–234PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Sidhu AS, Bal SS, Behera TK, Rani M (2005) An outlook in hybrid eggplant breeding. J New Seeds 6(2/3):15–29CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Singleton VL, Rossi JA (1965) Colorimetry of total phenolics with phosphomolybdic phosphotungstic acid reagents. Am J Enol Vitic 16:144–158Google Scholar
  49. Snowdon RJ (2007) Cytogenetics and genome analysis in Brassica crops. Chromosome Res 15:85–95PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Stàgel A, Portis E, Toppino L, Rotino GL, Lanteri S (2008) Gene-based microsatellite development for mapping and phylogeny studies in eggplant. BMC Genomics 9:357PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Stommel JR, Whitaker BD (2003) Phenolic acid content and composition of eggplant fruit in a germplasm core subset. J Am Soc Hort Sci 128:704–710Google Scholar
  52. Toppino L, Valè G, Rotino GL (2008) Inheritance of fusarium wilt resistance introgressed from Solanum aethiopicum Gilo and Aculeatum groups into cultivated eggplant (S. melongena) and development of associated PCR-based markers. Mol Breed 22:237–250CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. van der Weerden GM, Barendse GWM (2007) A web-searchable database developed for the EGGNET project and applied to the Radboud University Solanaceae database. Acta Hort 745:503–506Google Scholar
  54. Vilanova S, Blasco M, Hurtado M, Muñoz-Falcón JE, Prohens J, Nuez F (2010) Development of a linkage map of eggplant based on a S. incanum × S. melongena backcross generation. In: Prohens J, Rodríguez-Burruezo A (eds) Advances in genetics and breeding of capsicum and eggplant. Editorial de la Universitat Politècnica de València, València, pp 435–439Google Scholar
  55. Vilanova S, Manzur JP, Prohens J (2012) Development and characterization of genomic SSR markers in eggplant and their application to the study of diversity and relationships in a collection of different types and origins. Mol Breed. doi: 10.1007/s11032-011-9650-2
  56. Weese TL, Bohs L (2010) Eggplant origins: out of Africa, into the Orient. Taxon 59:49–56Google Scholar
  57. Zamir D (2001) Improving plant breeding with exotic genetic libraries. Nat Rev Genet 2:983–989PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jaime Prohens
    • 1
  • Mariola Plazas
    • 1
  • María D. Raigón
    • 2
  • José M. Seguí-Simarro
    • 1
  • John R. Stommel
    • 3
  • Santiago Vilanova
    • 1
  1. 1.Instituto de Conservación y Mejora de la Agrodiversidad ValencianaUniversitat Politècnica de ValènciaValenciaSpain
  2. 2.Departamento de QuímicaUniversitat Politècnica de ValènciaValenciaSpain
  3. 3.United States Department of AgricultureAgricultural Research Service Center Plant Sciences InstituteBeltsvilleUSA

Personalised recommendations