Genetic Combining Ability of Petal Shape in Garden Pansy (Viola × wittrockiana Gams) based on Image Analysis
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Flower appearance is an important target for improvement in garden pansy (Viola × wittrockiana Gams). Flowers of this species consist of three petal types: inferior, lateral, and superior. By means of principal-components (PC) analysis of elliptic Fourier descriptors (EFDs), we estimated the general and specific combining abilities (GCA and SCA) of the floral characteristics of F1 progeny derived from diallel crosses of four inbred lines. The greatest variation in petal shape was explained by the aspect ratio (the first PC) in each petal type. The second or third PC of each petal type was associated with the curvatures of the various parts of the petal. The highly significant GCA effects indicate the importance of additive genetic variance in the transmission of parental petal characteristics to the progeny. The fact that the SCA mean squares were not significant for aspect ratio and petal area indicates that these characteristics of a single-cross progeny can be sufficiently predicted on the basis of GCA. Significant SCA effects were observed in the curvatures of the distal and proximal parts of lateral and superior petals. Correlation analyses indicated several associations between the shape elements of lateral and superior petals, suggesting that genes for these shape elements may be associated, linked, or pleiotropic in the parents used in this study. We successfully demonstrated the use of EFD–PCA to evaluate the petal shape of garden pansy, and of analyzing combining ability and correlations based on the PC scores of EFDs.
KeywordsCombining ability Elliptic Fourier descriptor Floral variation Heritability Principal component analysis
Elliptic Fourier descriptor
General combining ability
Specific combining ability
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