Expression of elements of apomixis was studied for ten seasons in sorghum line AS-1a and its backcross hybrids in the 9E and A3 sterile cytoplasms. Cytoembryological analysis revealed aposporous embryo sacks (apo-ESs), their initial cells, and, rare, parthenogeneic proembryos in ovules of line AS-1a and its BC2 and BC3 hybrids on the 9E cytoplasm. The A3 sterile cytoplasm suppressed the development of parthenogenetic proembryos, but did not affect the apo-ES formation. The frequency of apomictic elements increased in seasons with high daily temperatures and total precipitation deficiency in the period of ovule and megagametophyte development (r = −0.805, p <.01). Selection was used to isolate the families where the frequency of ovules with apo-ESs was 28% and the frequency of parthenogenetic proembryos was 14%. Emasculated panicles of line AS-1a were pollinated with pollen of line Volzhskoe-4v, which carried the Rs marker dominant gene, responsible for the anthocyan color of coleoptyles and leaves in seedlings. Plants of the maternal type were found in the progenies of these crosses at a frequency of 1.4–28.1%. The genetic structure of the endosperm in grains with maternal-type seedlings was inferred from the electrophoretic patterns of storage proteins (kafirins). The kafirin spectra of grains producing maternal-type seedlings was similar to the spectrum of line AS-1a and differed from the spectra of grains producing hybrid seedlings, indicating that the endosperm developed autonomously when apomictic grains formed in line AS-1a. The results showed that lines with facultative apomixis can be constructed in functionally diploid plants.
Russian Journal of Genetics – Springer Journals
Published: Jan 5, 2012
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