Restriction Fragment Length Polymorphisms Associated with Water Use Efficiency in Tomato

Science  31 Mar 1989:
Vol. 243, Issue 4899, pp. 1725-1728
DOI: 10.1126/science.243.4899.1725


Improvement of crop water use efficiency (WUE) has not been successful because evaluation for this component of drought resistance is unreliable in field-grown plants. The composition of stable isotopes of plant carbon (δ13C) was earlier shown to be an excellent indicator of WUE in tomato and other species. It is now reported that δ13C can be satisfactorily predicted from three restriction fragment length polymorphisms (RFLPs), which are genetic markers for discrete DNA sequences within the genome. An additive type of gene action was observed for all three RFLP markers, and for one of them there also was a significant nonadditive component. Combining the δ13C and RFLP technologies may aid in identifying genes associated with WUE and in studying mechanisms contributing to WUE. These technologies will also be useful for crop improvement.