Page Banner

United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


item Golan-goldhirsh, Avi
item Jones, Richard
item Rowland, Lisa

Submitted to: Proceedings from the International Symposium MMH Montpellier
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/20/2000
Publication Date: 8/20/2000
Citation: Golan-Goldhirsh, A., Jones, R.W., Rowland, L.J. 2000. Aflp markers for sex determination in an ilex species. Proceedings from the International Symposium MMH Montpellier.

Interpretive Summary: The Japanese holly (Ilex crenata) is a medium-sized evergreen shrubby tree that is popular for landscaping. Unlike most flowering plants, Japanese holly is dioecious, meaning that the male and female elements are on different individuals. The sex of individual plants cannot be determined until flowering begins and flowering of holly plants can take 5 to 10 years or more. It would be advantageous to breeding and plant propagation programs to be able to identify the more desired berry-producing female plants at a much earlier stage in order to save labor and space. Modern DNA marker techniques could provide tools for distinguishing the sexes at the seedling stage. In this study, a population of Japanese holly plants, 12 of each sex, were analyzed for the presence of DNA markers that are associated with sex determination, that is, DNA markers present in one sex and not the other. Several such markers were found and seven of them were purified for further study. The new markers reported here will benefit scientists studying the genetic mechanism of sex determination in plants and to holly producers for identification of female plants at an early stage. This should ultimately make holly plants less expensive to the landscaper and homeowner.

Technical Abstract: Dioecious Ilex species (holly) represent a unique plant model in which to identify sex-related molecular markers. Little is known about the genetic and physiological basis for sex determination in this genus and modern molecular marker techniques may provide tools for studying its mechanism, as well as assist in breeding and plant propagation programs to identify the female berry-producing plants at the seedling stage. In this study, female I. crenata cultivar Sky Pencil, male I. crenata cultivar Microphylla, and their F1 progeny were analyzed for the presence of amplified fragment length polymorphic (AFLP) markers associated with sex determination. We present here the results from a bulked-segregant analysis using AFLP markers. Seven AFLP markers, which were identified as being associated with either the male or female sex, were isolated from the gels, cloned, and sequenced.

Last Modified: 10/17/2017
Footer Content Back to Top of Page