An Evaluation of Populations from Controlled Crosses between Iranian and Exotic Apples and Relationship between their Vegetative and Early Flowering Characters



To study the relationship between some morphological, phonological and early flowering (reduced juvenile phase) characters during some different growing seasons, a study was performed on apple seedling populations obtained from controlled crosses. Some qualitative as well as quantitative traits were assessed in more than 400 progenies from four populations of crosses between ‘Golab-e Kohanz’ and ‘Shafi Abadi’ as pollen parents and ‘Golden Smoothee’ and ‘Red Spur’ as seed parents. Such statistical parameters as Coefficient of Variance as well as Shannon- Wearver index, as indices for genetic diversity, were evaluated for quantitative and qualitative traits. Results of variance analysis revealed the existence of significant variation among populations. Also, mean comparisons of data showed the existence of significant variation among the studied populations (mainly affected by seed parents). Results of simple correlation analysis indicated the existence of significant, positive as well as negative correlations among some such important characteristics as tree height, trunk diameter, leaf area, length and width measures of leaf, seed chilling requirement, early flowering, etc. Results of factor analysis showed that eight main factors with each exceeding value one, accounted for more than 73 percent of total variance. Cluster analysis of populations based on the measured characteristics through Ward’s method categorized the individual offsprings of same seed parents in one group.