Inheritance of Rootstock Effects and Their Association with Salt Tolerance Candidate Genes in a Progeny Derived from 'Volkamer' Lemon
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A seedling population from hybrids between Volkamer' lemon (Citrus volkameriana) and 'Rubidoux' trifoliate orange (Poncirus trifoliata) was grafted with 'Hashimoto' Satsuma mandarin (Citrus unshiu) to study the inheritance of rootstock effects on salt tolerance in terms of fruit yield. Trees were maintained in a screenhouse, and a salt treatment (25 mM NaCl) was applied to 32 genotypes from June to September every year for 5 years. Rootstocks were genotyped for five salt tolerance candidate genes. Significant effects of rootstock genotype (G) and treatment (E) were found for most traits. Salinity decreased yield and juice volume but improved soluble solids concentration (TSS) and rind thickness. Year effects were highly significant in most cases. G x E interactions were found for fruit weight, total fruit weight, juice volume (JV), leaf water content (LWC), and leaf [Na+]. Therefore, rootstocks that induce early fruit maturation under salinity (by increasing TSS and maintaining JV) can be selected to expand the harvesting calendar of mandarin cultivars. Salt tolerance candidate genes SOS1 and NHX1 were associated with fruit yield traits under normal conditions (1.4 dS.m(-1)), and SOS1 and CCC were associated with LWC under salinity conditions (4 dS.m(-1)). Only 5% progeny induced higher accumulated yield than Volkamer' lemon under salinity. Given the low heritability of rootstock effects on fruit yield under salinity conditions (0.18 at most), marker-assisted selection might be useful.