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Southern Blight (Sclerotium rolfsii Sacc.) of Cowpea: Genetic Characterization of Two Sources of Resistance

International Journal of Agronomy
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Field studies were conducted to characterize the genetic nature of resistance to southern blight (caused by Sclerotium rolfsii Sacc.) exhibited by the cowpea [Vigna unguiculata (L.) Walp.] cultivars Carolina Cream and Brown Crowder and to determine if a genetic relationship exists for this resistance between the two cultivars. Examination of the comparative frequency distributions of the parental and progeny populations of the “Carolina Cream” x “Magnolia Blackeye” and “Brown Crowder” x “Magnolia Blackeye” crosses and the corresponding segregation data indicates that the southern blight resistances exhibited by “Carolina Cream” and “Brown Crowder” are conditioned by single dominant genes. Examination of the segregation data from the parental and progeny populations of the “Carolina Cream” x “Brown Crowder” cross suggests that the two resistance genes are not allelic. The availability of each of the resistance genes in cultivar-type genetic backgrounds should allow for rapid incorporation of southern blight resistance genes into other cowpea cultivars by the application of conventional plant breeding methodologies.

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