Inter-specific hybrids are a useful source for increasing genetic diversity. Some reproductive barriers before and/or after fertilization prevent production of hybrid plants by inter-specific crossing. Therefore, techniques to overcome the reproductive barrier have been developed, and have contributed to hybridization breeding. In recent studies, identification of molecules involved in plant reproduction has been studied to understand the mechanisms of reproductive barriers. Revealing the molecular mechanisms of reproductive barriers may allow us to overcome reproductive barriers in inter-specific crossing, and to efficiently produce inter-specific hybrids in cross-combinations that cannot be produced through artificial techniques. Inter-specific hybrid plants can potentially serve as an elite material for plant breeding, produced through the merging of genomes of parental species by allopolyploidization. Allopolyploidization provides some benefits, such as heterosis, increased genetic diversity and phenotypic variability, which are caused by dynamic changes of the genome and epigenome. Understanding of allopolyploidization mechanisms is important for practical utilization of inter-specific hybrids as a breeding material. This review discusses the importance of reproductive barriers and the effect of allopolyploidization in crop breeding programs.
Molecular markers associated with known quantitative trait loci (QTLs) for type 2 resistance to Fusarium head blight (FHB) in bi-parental mapping population usually have more than two alleles in breeding populations. Therefore, understanding the association of each allele with FHB response is particularly important to marker-assisted enhancement of FHB resistance. In this paper, we evaluated FHB severities of 192 wheat accessions including landraces and commercial varieties in three field growing seasons, and genotyped this panel with 364 genome-wide informative molecular markers. Among them, 11 markers showed reproducible marker-trait association (p < 0.05) in at least two experiments using a mixed model. More than two alleles were identified per significant marker locus. These alleles were classified into favorable, unfavorable and neutral alleles according to the normalized genotypic values. The distributions of effective alleles at these loci in each wheat accession were characterized. Mean FHB severities increased with decreased number of favorable alleles at the reproducible loci. Chinese wheat landraces and Japanese accessions have more favorable alleles at the majority of the reproducible marker loci. FHB resistance levels of varieties can be greatly improved by introduction of these favorable alleles and removal of unfavorable alleles simultaneously at these QTL-linked marker loci.
To study the genetic basis of heat tolerance at anthesis, a set of chromosome segment substitution lines (CSSLs) derived from Sasanishiki (japonica ssp. heat susceptible) and Habataki (indica spp. heat tolerant) were used for analysis across three high temperature environments. Spikelet fertility (SF), daily flowering time (DFT) and pollen shedding level (PSL) under high temperature (HT) were assessed. Eleven related QTLs were detected, of which, two QTLs qSFht2 and qSFht4.2 for spikelet fertility were identified on chromosomes 2 and 4. Four QTLs qDFT3, qDFT8, qDFT10.1 and qDFT11 for daily flowering time were detected on chromosomes 3, 8, 10 and 11. The other five QTLs qPSLht1, qPSLht4.1, qPSLht5, qPSLht7 and qPSLht10.2 on chromosomes 1, 4, 5, 7 and 10, respectively, were found had effects both on spikelet fertility and pollen shedding level. Of the 11 QTLs, 8 were overlapped with QTLs reported by others, 3 QTLs qPSLht4.1, qPSLht7 and qPSLht10.2 identified in this study were novel. The stability of qPSLht4.1 was further verified at different temperatures, which could be used to improve the pollen shedding and pollen growth on stigma for rice heat-tolerance breeding.
In order to know the genetic nature of hybrid sterility further, three populations, a BC4F2 population derived from Oryza nivara crossed with Yundao 1, a BC4F2 population derived from O. rufipogon crossed with Yundao 1, and a BC10F1 population derived from a cross between O. barthii and Dianjingyou 1 were developed, respectively. Three hybrid sterility QTLs, qHS-6a, qHS-6b, and qHS-6c, detected from those three populations, were mapped into the region between RM190 and RM510, RM190 and RM3414, RM190 and RM587 on chromosome 6, respectively. These QTLs showed collinearity, and explained 88.24%, 61.52%, 44.46% of the phenotypic variance in pollen fertility and 80.60%, 35.20%, 29.01% of the phenotypic variance in spikelet fertility, respectively. In all three crosses, the gametes carrying Yundao 1 or Dianjingyou 1 alleles were eliminated by gametes carrying the wild species alleles. Comparison of the location and the mode of gene action of three QTLs correspond to the S1 locus indicates a common and conserved hybrid sterility locus in AA genome specie playing an important role in reproductive barriers in Oryza. Fine mapping of these QTLs would lead to understand the micro-collinearity and evolutionary relationship among Oryza species.
In an experimental field, seed vivipary occurred in one accession of tomato rin mutant fruit at approximately 45–50 days after pollination (DAP). In this study, the possible contributory factors to this viviparous germination were investigated. Firstly, developing seeds were freshly excised from the fruit tissue every 5 days from 25–60 DAP. Germination occurred when isolated seeds were incubated on water, but was inhibited when they remained ex situ in fruit mucilage gel. The effect of abscisic acid (ABA) and osmoticum, separate and together, on germination of developing seeds was investigated. Additionally, ABA content in the seed and mucilage gel, as well as fruit osmolality were measured. The results showed that ABA concentrations in seeds were low during early development and increased later, peaking at about 50 DAP. ABA concentrations in rin accession were similar to those of the control cultivar and thus are not directly associated with the occurrence of vivipary. Developing seeds of rin accession are more sensitive than control seeds to all inhibitory compounds. However, osmolality in rin fruit at later developmental stages becomes less negative that is required to permit germination of developing seeds. Hence, hypo-osmolality in rin fruit may be an important factor in permitting limited viviparous germination.
Tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum L.), particularly flue-cured tobacco, is one of the most economically important nonfood crops and is also an important model system in plant biotechnology. Despite its importance, only limited molecular marker resources are available for genome analysis, genetic mapping, and breeding. Simple sequence repeats (SSR) are one of the most widely-used molecular markers, having significant advantages including that they are generally co-dominant, easy to use, abundant in eukaryotic organisms, and produce highly reproducible results. In this study, based on the genome sequence data of flue-cured tobacco (K326), we developed a total of 13,645 mostly novel SSR markers, which were working in a set of eighteen tobacco varieties of four different types. A mapping population of 213 backcross (BC1) individuals, which were derived from an intra-type cross between two flue-cured tobacco varieties, Y3 and K326, was selected for mapping. Based on the newly developed SSR markers as well as published SSR markers, we constructed a genetic map consisting of 626 SSR loci distributed across 24 linkage groups and covering a total length of 1120.45 cM with an average distance of 1.79 cM between adjacent markers, which is the highest density map of flue-cured tobacco till date.
Amomum tsaoko is a flexistylous ginger. Flexistyly is a unique floral mechanism promoting outcrossing, which is known only in some species of Zingiberaceae till date. This is a pioneer report on flexistyly in A. tsaoko from the aspect of fructification percentage to clarify its influence on reproduction. We observed in 2007 and 2008 that the fructification percentage of the anaflexistyled and the cataflexistyled inflorescence were 14.89 ± 10.35% and 11.31 ± 7.91% respectively, with significant difference (d.f. = 141.920, t = 2.518, P = 0.013 < 0.05). The greatly significant difference between 2007 and 2008 were present in both the flower number (d.f. = 93, t = −2.819, P = 0.006 < 0.01) and the fructification percentage (d.f. = 93, t = −2.894, P = 0.005 < 0.01) of the cataflexistylous inflorescence. Although the two morphs were similar in morphological characteristics, there was some gender differentiation between them, showing a possibility that the anaflexistylous morph might function more as females and the cataflexistylous morph more as males. Reproduction of the cataflexistylous morph was significantly sensitive to change of environmental factors, in contrast to the anaflexistylous morph, thus the yield varied between the abundant year (2008) and the off year (2007).
Broad-spectrum disease resistance against two or more types of pathogen species is desirable for crop improvement. In rice, Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae (Xoo), the causal bacteria of rice leaf blight, and Magnaporthe oryzae, the fungal pathogen causing rice blast, are two of the most devastating pathogens. We identified the rice BROAD-SPECTRUM RESISTANCE 1 (BSR1) gene for a BIK1-like receptor-like cytoplasmic kinase using the FOX hunting system, and demonstrated that BSR1-overexpressing (OX) rice showed strong resistance to the bacterial pathogen, Xoo and the fungal pathogen, M. oryzae. Here, we report that BSR1-OX rice showed extended resistance against two other different races of Xoo, and to at least one other race of M. oryzae. In addition, the rice showed resistance to another bacterial species, Burkholderia glumae, which causes bacterial seedling rot and bacterial grain rot, and to Cochliobolus miyabeanus, another fungal species causing brown spot. Furthermore, BSR1-OX rice showed slight resistance to rice stripe disease, a major viral disease caused by rice stripe virus. Thus, we demonstrated that BSR1-OX rice shows remarkable broad-spectrum resistance to at least two major bacterial species and two major fungal species, and slight resistance to one viral pathogen.
Time to flowering and maturity in soybean is controlled by loci E1 to E5, and E7 to E9. These loci were assigned to molecular linkage groups (MLGs) except for E5. This study was conducted to map the E5 locus using F2 populations expected to segregate for E5. F2 populations were subjected to quantitative trait locus (QTL) analysis for days to flowering (DF) and maturity (DM). In Harosoy-E5 × Clark-e2 population, QTLs for DF and DM were found at a similar position with E2. In Harosoy × Clark-e2E5 population, QTLs for DF and DM were found in MLG D1a and B1, respectively. In Harosoy-E5Dt2 × Clark-e2 population, a QTL for DF was found in MLG B1. Thus, results from these populations were not fully consistent, and no candidate QTL for E5 was found. In Harosoy × PI 80837 population, from which E5 was originally identified, QTLs corresponding to E1 and E3 were found, but none for E5 existed. Harosoy and PI 80837 had the e2-ns allele whereas Harosoy-E5 had the E2-dl allele. The E2-dl allele of Harosoy-E5 may have been generated by outcrossing and may be responsible for the lateness of Harosoy-E5. We conclude that a unique E5 gene may not exist.
Barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) is the fourth most-produced cereal in the world and is mainly utilized as animal feed and malts. Recently barley attracts considerable attentions as healthy food rich in dietary fiber. However, limited knowledge is available about developmental aspects of barley leaves. In the present study, we investigated barley narrow leafed dwarf1 (nld1) mutants, which exhibit thin leaves accompanied by short stature. Detailed histological analysis revealed that leaf marginal tissues, such as sawtooth hairs and sclerenchymatous cells, were lacked in nld1, suggesting that narrowed leaf of nld1 was attributable to the defective development of the marginal regions in the leaves. The defective marginal developments were also appeared in internodes and glumes in spikelets. Map-based cloning revealed that NLD1 encodes a WUSCHEL-RELATED HOMEOBOX 3 (WOX3), an ortholog of the maize NARROW SHEATH genes. In situ hybridization showed that NLD1 transcripts were localized in the marginal edges of leaf primordia from the initiating stage. From these results, we concluded that NLD1 plays pivotal role in the increase of organ width and in the development of marginal tissues in lateral organs in barley.
Rice bran oil is a byproduct of the milling of rice (Oryza sativa L.). It offers various health benefits and has a beneficial fatty acid composition. To increase the amount of rice bran as a sink for triacylglycerol (TAG), we developed and characterized new breeding materials with giant embryos. To induce mutants, we treated fertilized egg cells of the high-yielding cultivar ‘Mizuhochikara’ with N-methyl-N-nitrosourea (MNU). By screening M2 seeds, we isolated four giant embryo mutant lines. Genetic analysis revealed that the causative loci in lines MGE12 and MGE13 were allelic to giant embryo (ge) on chromosome 7, and had base changes in the causal gene Os07g0603700. On the other hand, the causative loci in lines MGE8 and MGE14 were not allelic to ge, and both were newly mapped on chromosome 3. The TAG contents of all four mutant lines increased relative to their wild type, ‘Mizuhochikara’. MGE13 was agronomically similar to ‘Mizuhochikara’ and would be useful for breeding for improved oil content.
Efforts are underway to develop staple crops with improved levels of provitamin A carotenoids to help combat dietary vitamin A deficiency (VAD), which has afflicted the health of resource-poor people in the developing world. As a staple crop for more than 500 million people in sub-Saharan Africa, cassava enriched with provitamin A carotenoids could have a widespread nutritional impact. To this effect, 13 provitamin A clones were evaluated in a randomized complete block design in six environments to assess genotype by environment interaction (GEI) effects for total carotenoid (TCC) and dry matter content (DMC) in roots. Additive main effect and multiplicative interaction analysis showed significant variation among genotypes for TCC, DMC, fresh root weight and harvest index. Environmental effects were non-significant for TCC, but GEI effects were significantly large for all traits measured. There were significant temporal increments for all traits measured within 12 months after planting. TCC correlated negatively with DMC, illustrating an important challenge to overcome when developing provitamin A cassava varieties without compromising DMC, which is a major farmer-preference trait. Nonetheless, best performing genotypes were identified for TCC, DMC and FRW, and these could constitute genetic resources for advancement or developing breeding populations through hybridization.
Black spot disease, caused by Alternaria alternata Japanese pear pathotype, is one of the most harmful diseases in Japanese pear cultivation. In the present study, the locations of black spot disease resistance/susceptibility-related genome regions were studied by fluorescence in situ hybridization using BAC clone (BAC-FISH) on Japanese pear (Pyrus pyrifolia (Burm. f.) Nakai) chromosomes. Root tips of self-pollinated seedlings of ‘Osa Gold’ were used as materials. Chromosome samples were prepared by the enzymatic maceration and air-drying method. The BAC clone adjacent to the black spot disease-related gene was labeled as a probe for FISH analysis. Black spot disease-related genome regions were detected in telomeric positions of two medium size chromosomes. These two sites and six telomeric 18S-5.8S-25S rDNA sites were located on different chromosomes as determined from the results of multi-color FISH. The effectiveness of the physical mapping of useful genes on pear chromosomes achieved by the BAC-FISH method was unequivocally demonstrated.
Self-incompatible (SI) plants are able to form ideal mother lines for hybrid crossing in hermaphroditic plants, assuring fertilization from the desired father line. To find out suitable ways to maintain SI was the aim of this study. Among 220 plants of German chamomile (Matricaria recutita (L.) Rauschert) within six accessions SI-genotypes were selected. SI was determined as staying seedless in three flower heads per plant. Initial SI-plants formed the basic paternal generation (P1) of i) maintaining the same genotypes over six months and repeating seed set analysis (P2) and of ii) conducting crossings in three versions (SI × SI, SI × NSI (not SI evaluated plants) and NSI × SI), thereby producing the F1 population. F1 exhibited 78% SI and P2 62% SI, indicating a higher environmental than genetic influence on SI. But heritability, calculated from the results of SI × SI crossings, showed high values (h2 = 0.71). Within generative propagation, the influence of generation/crossing version was highly significant (p = 0.001) and the cultivar ‘Degumille’ explored the highest value of SI (86%) after SI × NSI crossings. Therefore, the intra-cultivar combination of ‘Degumille’ SI mother plants crossed with NSI father plants can be recommended as the most promising version to maintain SI in chamomile.
Few sweetpotato (Ipomoea batatas Lam.) cultivars with erect plant type are available despite their advantages over spreading type, such as simplicity of cultivation and ability to adapt to limited space. One of the reasons is insufficiency of their agronomic characteristics for table use. So, it is important to overcome these drawbacks of ER-type lines. We attempted to breed new erect plant type sweetpotato lines having good agronomic traits using cross breeding and mutation breeding with gamma-ray irradiation. With cross breeding we successfully developed new erect plant type lines with almost equal levels of yield as compared to ‘Beniazuma’, one of the leading cultivars in Japan. However, mutation breeding failed to develop any promising lines because we could not obtain distinct erect plant type lines. In the future larger numbers of plants should be used for mutation breeding, and irradiation methods should be improved.
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