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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Fertilization of Unreduced Eggs for the Genetic Enhancement of Apomictic Buffelgrass


Submitted to: American Society of Agronomy Branch Meeting
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: January 1, 1999
Publication Date: N/A

Technical Abstract: Fertilization of unreduced eggs (2n+n) provides a means for gene exchange between apomictic plants. This phenomenon permits incorporation of complete haploid genome(s) from the male parent into the entire somatic chromosome complement of the apomictic female parent. The progeny are unique genotypes and are often superior to either parent. Thus, 2n+n fertilization has potential as a breeding tool for improving obligate apomicts but its occurrence is often too low for it to be reliable. In an attempt to increase the frequency of 2n+n fertilization, five apomictic buffelgrass, Pennisetum ciliare (L.) Link, accessions were self- and cross-pollinated on different days prior to anthesis. Of 1,748 S1 plants recovered, 26 were 2n+n while 77 of 2,637 F1 hybrids were 2n+n which is a frequency of 1.5 and 2.9% 2n+n fertilization, respectively. When pollinations were made 2- or 3-days prior to anthesis, the frequency of 2n+n fertilization increased to 2.1 and 4.1% for self- and cross-pollinations, respectively. Most 2n+n hybrids recovered were more vigorous than either parent. Seed set of the 2n+n hybrids (number caryopses/involucre) ranged from 2 to 120%.

Last Modified: 2/26/2015
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