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  • Author or Editor: J. N. Corgan x
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Ockyung H. Bark, Michael J. Havey and Joe N. Corgan

The edible Alliums are economically important world-wide. The bulb onion (Allium cepa) is the most widely grown. The Japanese bunching onion (A. fistulosum) has many desirable characters, e.g., resistance to pink root, Thrips, smut, maggot, and Botrytis. Transfer of pink root resistance from A. fistulosum into A. cepa has been attempted for over 60 years. However, sterility of the F1 hybrid is a barrier and there is little evidence of gene introgression during backcrossing to A. cepa. Dr. Corgan has made crosses between A. fistulosum as the seed parent and A. cepa. He backcrossed the F1 hybrids to A. cepa and generated BC2 progenies which showed excellent pink root resistance. RFLPs in the chloroplast genome showed all BC2 progenies had either the normal or sterile cytoplasm of A. cepa. This may be due to not strictly maternal inheritance of the chloroplast DNA or a seed mixture during backcrossing. Other interspecific hybrids and their BC1 progenies had the cytoplasm of A. fistulosum. Nuclear RFLPs show hybrid patterns in the F1 plants. BC1 progenies possess some A. fistulosum markers as evidence of DNA introgression from A. fistulosum into the backcross progenies.

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Ockyung H. Bark, Michael J. Havey and Joe N. Corgan

Allium fistulosum L. (bunching onion) is resistant to many of the important diseases and pests of Allium cepa L. (bulb onion). Although the first interspecific hybrids were generated more than 50 years ago, there is no conclusive evidence that any desirable trait in bunching onion has been successfully transferred to bulb onion by backcrossing. We identified RFLPs in the chloroplast and nuclear genomes to assess DNA transfer from bunching to bulb onion by backcrossing an interspecific hybrid to a bulb onion. Polymorphisms in the chloroplast genome established that the interspecific hybrid and three putative backcross plants had the cytoplasm of a bunching onion. All 57 random cDNA probes detected polymorphisms between the bulb and bunching onion for at least one of two restriction enzymes. The backcross progenies always possessed the bulb-onion fragments and an excess of probes detected the bunching-onion fragments. Only one plant showed an acceptable fit to the expected 1:1 backcross ratio. Significant deviations from expected segregation ratios may be the result of abnormal meiosis in the interspecific hybrid. However, these observations could also be explained by a previously proposed nuclear-cytoplasmic interaction conditioning preferential survival in the bunching-onion cytoplasm of eggs carrying bunching-onion chromosomes.

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M. Ulloa-Godinez, J. N. Corgan and M. Dunford

Cytogenetic studies were performed on Allium fistulosum, A. cepa. their F1 hybrid, and ten backcross (BC1) progenies [(A. fistulosum × A. cepa) × (A. cepa) 1. In meiosis the F1 hybrid showed 41 percent hetercmorphic bivalent pairing with 10.6 +. 1.8 `chiasmata per cell. Meiocytes were observed with one, two and three bridges and fragments, indicating at least three paracentric inversions. Multivalent associations indicate at least two translocations, one involving the satellite chromosome. The percentage of bivalent pairing, bridges and fragments, and multivalent associations varied in BC1 progenies. The F1 hybrid and all of the BC1 plants were either sterile or had very little seed set. The satellite chromosomes used as cytological markers showed variation in nucleolus position, degree of attachment and number.