Experiments were conducted from 1996 to 1998 at the Hefei Institute of Economics and Technology and at the Oriental Experimental Station of the Zhejiang Province (China). Seven F1 hybrids and three parental varieties of Oriental tobaccos were evaluated for the characteristics of photosynthetic and transpiration rates, esterase isozymes, resistance to black shank, quality and product potential from the 1996-1998 growing seasons. Tobacco leaves had higher photosynthetic rates and many differences among genotypes in the early stage of plant vigorous growth compared with more mature leaves. However, transpiration rates were lower in the younger leaves and greater in the more mature leaves. All the entries had four common bands (B1, B3, B4 and B6) of the esterase isoenzymes. Differences between entries resulted from in having or not having the B2 and B5 bands and color intensity differences of all the bands. These differences could be used to identify individual entries. The F1hybrids Samsun X Toy and Samsun X Argjiro, compared with the CK Samsun control, had obvious heterotic vigor in the characteristics of product, for yield, quality and resistance to black shank. The F1 hybrid Samsun X Toy maintained higher photosynthetic and transpiration rates in the two growth stages compared to other entries. However, the F1hybrid Samsun X Argjiro had higher photosynthetic rates and lower transpiration rates in the early growth stage and the two rates were lower in the later stage, but it maintained higher photosynthetic rates for the whole growth stage. Net photosynthetic rates had a significant positive correlation with yield product, quality and resistance to black shank of the Oriental tobacco F1hybrids.
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