Project Description: 

Little is known about the self compatability/incompatability (S gene locus) of European plum (Prunus domestica) cultivars. Until now, no cross-incompatibility groups have been determined and knowledge about the number of plum S-alleles is rather limited. Based on early controlled self- and cross-pollination experiments, “fully” self-compatible, “partially” self-compatible and self-incompatible cultivars were described (Rawes, 1921). Since self-incompatibility is general in plum, cross-pollination is essential for most cultivars. Male sterility may also occur in some domestic plum cultivars and this further complicates the optimal orchard design (Szabó et al., 1999). Because there are no available specific markers of plum S-alleles in comparison with other Prunus species, primers designed for the conservative regions of S-RNase (pistil determinant) and F-box (pollen determinant) genes will be used for gaining information about hexaploid plums.

Thus, the main objective is to identify self-compatibility markers in key germplasm that will enable breeding for other agronomical traits in P. domestica.

Undergraduate's Role: 

– To help develop PCR protocols to determine allelic variation at the S locus using conserved S-RNase primers developed in other Prunus species.

1b – Cloning and sequencing the S alleles in dried plum in order to determine the cross-incompatibility groups.

1c – Help in the design of self compatibility specific primers in order to speed up genotype determination in cultivars and selections to facilitate orchard management and breeding processes.

Undergraduate's Qualifications: 

Experience with DNA extractions, PCRs and gel electrophoresis

On Campus
To be negotiated