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ISHS Acta Horticulturae 297: II International Symposium on Kiwifruit

THE GENETIC ORIGIN OF KIWIFRUIT

Authors:   Ross N. Crowhurst, D. Whittaker, R. C. Gardner
Abstract:
The cultivated kiwifruit, Actinidia deliciosa, is a hexaploid species with 6X=174 chromosomes. The great majority of Actinidia species are diploid, with 2X=58 chromosomes. We are interested in the genetic constitution of kiwifruit, in determining whether it is auto- or allo-polyploid, and in identifying its progenitor (diploid) species. We have undertaken RFLP analysis of kiwifruit and three of its relatives, A. chinensis, A. eriantha and A. latifolia. The results confirm A. chinensis as a parent of kiwifruit, but suggest that neither A. eriantha nor A. latifolia are progenitors. In addition, we isolated and characterised a repeat sequence from kiwifruit and hybridised it to other Actinidia DNAs. It was shown not to be present in A. chinensis but to be in A. chrysantha, a tetraploid in the genus. This result suggested that additional progenitors are involved in the background of kiwifruit, and that it is therefore probably allopolyploid. Recently we have isolated and characterised the rRNA locus from A. chinensis. The intergenic spacer region of this clone is being used to probe the relationship between kiwifruit, A. chinensis and A. chrysantha.
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