Location: Sunflower Research
Title: Effect of wild Helianthus cytoplasms on agronomic and oil characteristics of cultivated sunflower (H. annuus L.) Authors
Submitted to: Plant Breeding
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: November 24, 2013
Publication Date: April 1, 2014
Citation: Jan, C., Seiler, G.J., Hammond, J.J. 2014. Effect of wild Helianthus cytoplasms on agronomic and oil characteristics of cultivated sunflower (H. annuus L.). Plant Breeding. 133:262-267. Interpretive Summary: Worldwide, hybrid sunflower is produced on over 57 million acres in 60 countries. This production is dependent on a single female parent, PET1, derived from a wild sunflower some 45 years ago. Needless to say, reliance on a single cytoplasmic source for hybrid sunflower production may prove to be disastrous, as was experienced by the epidemic of southern corn leaf blight in corn back in the early 1970s. Wild sunflower species have served as a source of many traits for sunflower improvement. The need for more diversified female parents has led to the discovery of many new sources in the wild species, both annual and perennial. However, they have not been tested to see if they are equal to or better than the sole female parent currently used. The focus of this study was to evaluate twenty new cytoplasms as the potential new female parent for sunflower. The annual species cytoplasms performed the best with no negative effect on agronomic traits, indicating that they are basically equal to the currently used female parent. Some of the perennial species had reduced head size consequently significantly reducing yield, and would have to be used with caution. In general, most cytoplasms of wild annual species are compatible with cultivated sunflower lines without any drastic adverse interactions, and are good sources of genetic diversity to broaden the genetic base of cultivated sunflower.
Technical Abstract: Sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.) productions reliance on a single source of cytoplasmic male-sterility, PET1, derived from H. petiolaris Nutt., makes the crop genetically vulnerable. Twenty diverse cytoplasmic substitution lines from annual and perennial wild species were compared with the inbred line HA89 over four environments. Pairwise comparisons of alloplasmic male-fertile with euplasmic male-fertile lines suggested that cytoplasm of perennial H. angustifolius increased lodging while perennial cytoplasms of H. mollis, H. grosseserratus, and H. divaricatus reduced head size and consequently reduced yield and will need to be used with caution. Lines having annual species cytoplasms had no effects on agronomic traits. Comparisons of CMS HA 89 with 10 CMS lines suggested yield-reducing cytoplasmic effects of perennial H. maximiliani, and annual H. annuus PI 413178 and PI 413024. Cytoplasmic effects on oil percentage and fatty acid composition were minimal and should not be of concern for sunflower breeders. In general, most cytoplasms of wild annual Helianthus species accommodate cultivated nuclear genes without drastic adverse interactions, and are potential sources of cytoplasmic diversity for sunflower breeding.