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  • Author or Editor: Ali Fuat Gokce x
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Cytoplasmic-genic male sterility (CMS) is used to produce hybrid onion seed. For the most widely used source of CMS in onion, male sterility is conditioned by the interaction of sterile (S) cytoplasm and the homozygous recessive genotype at a single nuclear male-fertility restoration locus (Ms). Maintainer lines used to seed-propagate male-sterile lines possess normal fertile (N) cytoplasm and the homozyous recessive genotype at the Ms locus. Presently, it takes 4 to 8 years to establish if maintainer lines can be extracted from an uncharacterized population or family. We previously developed a PCR marker useful to distinguish N and S cytoplasms of onion. To tag the nuclear male-fertility restoration locus (Ms), we evaluated segregation at Ms over at least three environments. Segregations of AFLPs, RAPDs, and RFLPs revealed molecular markers flanking the Ms locus. We are working to convert these linked molecular markers to nonradioactive PCR-based detection. The organellar and nuclear markers were used to select plants from open-pollinated onion populations and determine if the number of test-crosses required to identify maintaining genotypes.

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Cytoplasmic male sterility (CMS) in onion (Allium cepa L.) is conditioned by the interaction of the male-sterile (S) cytoplasm with recessive alleles at a single nuclear male-fertility restoration locus (Ms). In order to seed propagate male-sterile plants (S msms), onion breeders must identify maintainer lines possessing normal (N) male-fertile cytoplasm and homozygous recessive at the Ms locus (N msms). Molecular markers have been identified distinguishing N and S cytoplasms and closely linked to the nuclear Ms locus. In this study, we evaluated testcross progenies from randomly selected N-cytoplasmic plants from three open-pollinated populations for nuclear restoration of male fertility over at least three environments. The Ms locus and linked restriction fragment length polymorphisms (0.9 and 1.7 cM) were at linkage equilibrium in all three open-pollinated onion populations, indicating that these linked markers cannot be used to identify maintaining genotypes in open-pollinated onion populations. However, cytoplasmic evaluations were effective in reducing the number of testcrosses required to identify CMS-maintaining genotypes.

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Cytoplasmic-genic male sterility (CMS) is used to produce hybrid onion (Allium cepa L.) seed. For the most widely used source of onion CMS, male sterility is conditioned by the interaction of the male-sterile (S) cytoplasm and the homozygous recessive genotype at a nuclear male-fertility restoration locus (Ms). Maintainer lines are used to seed propagate male-sterile lines, possess normal (N) male-fertile cytoplasm, and are homozyous recessive at the Ms locus. Due to the biennial nature of onion, it takes 4 to 8 years of crossing and scoring of progeny phenotypes to establish if maintainer lines can be extracted from an uncharacterized population or family. Identification of nuclear markers tightly linked to the Ms locus would allow for molecular-facilitated selection of maintainer lines. We evaluated testcross progenies from a segregating family for nuclear restoration of male fertility over at least three environments. Although segregations in the F2 family fit the expected 1:2:1 ratio (P = 0.973), the proportion of male-sterile testcross progenies showed significant (P < 0.01) year effects and it is therefore imperative to score male-fertility restoration over environments. Too many male-sterile testcross progenies were often observed, indicating that the dominant allele conditioning male-fertility restoration for S cytoplasm may not show complete penetrance. Segregations of amplified fragment length polymorphisms and restriction fragment length polymorphisms (RFLPs) revealed RFLPs flanking the Ms locus at 0.9 and 8.6 cM. An onion cDNA showing highly significant homology to the aldehyde dehydrogenase conditioned by the rf2 locus of maize was identified and mapped to linkage group I, independent of the Ms locus. A sample of commercial onion germplasm was evaluated for putative allelic diversity at the RFLP loci linked to Ms. The genomic region corresponding to the cDNA (AOB272) revealing the closest RFLP to Ms was sequenced to reveal numerous single nucleotide polymorphisms. Single-stranded conformational polymorphisms and single nucleotide extensions were developed that revealed genomic variation at AOB272-EcoRI. The use of these molecular markers to select maintainer lines in onion is discussed.

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