Production and characterization of eggplant derived from inter and intraspecific hybridization between eggplant and its wild relatives

Muhammad Awais Ghani, Muhammad Mehran Abbas, Khurram Ziaf, Muhammad Amjad, Basharat Ali, Muhammad Azam, Romana Anjum, Anam Noor, Mubashir Zahid


Relatives wild species of crop can contribute to spread the genetic background of crops and adapting them to new challenges, such as climate change, tolerance to abiotic and biotic stresses. The use of wild relatives in crop breeding has economic impact at the global level. The eggplant belongs is a highly valuable horticultural crop grown all over the world and it is of substantial economic importance in Asia. However, its production is severely threatened by several soil-borne and foliar diseases, insect-pests, drought, heat and frost damage, which reduce yield. Therefore, efforts to transfer useful resistance genes into eggplant from their wild relatives is important. In the present study, interspecific and intraspecific hybridization was carried out, which included three cultivated genotypes of eggplant (Solanum melongena MEE, Solanum melongena MEP, Solanum melongena MEB) and one wild Solanum species (Solanum incanum INC). The interspecific and intraspecific crosses were performed and F1 hybrid were made, total 632 possible inter and intraspecific and their reciprocal crosses were performed of which only three were successful. The minimum days to flowering were observed in parent MEP (61.6 days), maximum plant height was measured in MEE×MEB (66.2 cm), maximum leaf width (15.1 cm) and leaf length (28.1 cm) was noted in hybrid MEE×INC and, maximum stem diameter was noted (3.12 cm) in hybrid MEP×MEE. Maximum fruit length was observed in parent MEB (24.16 cm). Furthermore, fruit diameter was found maximum in MEE x INC (4.84 cm). Higher rate of pollen viability resulted in hybrid observed in MEP×MEE which give dark red colour. Maximum fruit yield per plant was observed in hybrid MEE×INC (1283.8 g) and maximum number of seeds per fruit were counted in parent INC (1170.2). Our results suggest that these materials will be of great interest for the genetic improvement of eggplant; they may have a tremendous potential to increase tolerance to abiotic stresses, such as to drought and heat, as well as increased nutrient and herbal values, which will be helpful for the human health, ultimately contributing to the development of a new generation of plants adapted to climate.




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