Accumulation of weathered p,p′‐DDTs in hybridized Cucurbita pepo cultivars

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Cucurbita pepo spp pepo (zucchini) is known as an exceptional weathered dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene (DDE) accumulator, whereas Cucurbita pepo ssp ovifera (squash) is termed a nonaccumulator. Experiments were conducted with hybridized zucchini and squash to assess the inheritance pattern of DDX (the sum of p,p′‐dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane [p,p′‐DDT], p,p′‐dichlorodiphenyldichloroethane [p,p′‐DDD], and p,p′‐DDE) accumulation potential in xylem sap and tissues of parental, F1 hybrids, and F1 backcross (BC) generations of plants. Plants were grown in pots containing soil with weathered DDX at 732 to 1,130 ng/g soil or under field conditions in soil with 322 to 2,700 ng/g. The DDX stem bioconcentration factors (BCFs) and xylem sap values showed differences between parental and hybridized plants of squash and zucchini. For squash grown in greenhouse conditions, the DDX flow rate in the xylem sap was 17.3, 121, and 40.8 ng/h in parental, F1 hybrids, and F1 BC plants, respectively. Similarly, the stem DDX content of parental, F1, and F1 BC squash was 11, 253, and 96 ng/g (dry wt), respectively. A similar inheritance pattern for squash was observed when the plants were grown under field conditions. The DDX flow rates in the xylem sap of pot‐grown parental, F1, and F1 BC zucchini cultivars were 100, 8.5, and 26 ng/hr, respectively, and the stem DDX content was 191, 102, and 142 ng/g, respectively. Again, similar trends in accumulation potential were observed for hybridized zucchini grown under field conditions. The DDX concentrations in parental plants matched the expected pattern, with hybrids midway between the two species, and then the backcross was more like the parent again for both species. This inheritance pattern of contaminant accumulation and translocation ability follows classical Mendelian segregation and suggests single‐gene or single‐locus control. Environ. Toxicol. Chem. © 2012 SETAC

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