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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Rare Biparental Transmission of the Organellar Genomes in Onion

item Havey, Michael
item Jones, Richard - ASGROW SEED CO
item Miller, Ivan - SUNSEEDS

Submitted to: The Allium Improvement Newsletter
Publication Type: Research Notes
Publication Acceptance Date: January 31, 1996
Publication Date: N/A

Technical Abstract: Plants predominately show maternal inheritance of the organellar genomes, although examples of paternal and biparental transmission are known. In onion, evidence of maternal inheritance of the organellar genomes includes stable transmission of male-sterile cytoplasms and exclusion of the chloroplast DNA from the male gametophyte. Commercial onion breeders have observed that some male-sterile inbred lines produce male-fertile plants at low frequency, even though pairing of individual sterile and fertile plants should have eliminated the dominant allele at the nuclear locus that restores male fertility in S-cytoplasm. Southern analysis of DNA from male-fertile plants appearing in seed fields of male-sterile lines demonstrated that six plants possessed chloroplast and mitochondrial DNAs from both N and S cytoplasms, demonstrating that the occasional appearance of male-fertile plants in sterile lines may be due to rare biparental transmission of the organellar genomes.

Last Modified: 4/17/2015