Submitted to: Molecular Breeding of Forage and Turf Conference
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/23/2003
Publication Date: 4/9/2003
Citation: JESSUP, R., BURSON, B.L., BUROW, G., CHANG, C., LI, Z., HUSSEY, M. MOLECULAR TOOLS FOR MARKER-ASSISTED-BREEDING IN BUFFELGRASS. MOLECULAR BREEDING OF FORAGE AND TURF CONFERENCE. 2003. ABSTRACT P. 140.
Technical Abstract: Buffelgrass (Pennisetum ciliare (L.) Link syn. Cenchrus ciliaris L.) is an apomictic, warm-season, perennial forage grass grown throughout the arid and semi-arid tropics. It si san aposporous apomict, in which most genotypes reproduce by either obligate or facultative (sexual and apomictic) apomixix. However, rare sexual genotypes exist. The long-term goal of this project is to elucidate the molecular basis of apospory and other important traits in buffelgrass. To date, a genome map containing more thatn 700 markers has been developed using a mapping population of 86 buffelgrass hybrids. Several molecular markers were identified that map close to the locus exerting major control over apospory (PApol) when classified as a Mendelian trait. A PCR-based method to score apospory as a QTL has been developed and will allow additional genomic regions controlling apomixis to be identified. Paternal-specific, PCR-based markers were developed to screen new hybrids and eliminate progeny from unwanted outcrosses and self-fertilizations. Genomic regions under gametic selection due to allelic interactions were identified. Our current research includes the development of PCR-based markers for the favored allele combinations in future crosses. In addition, our mapping population has been increased to more than 200 hybrids and QTL analyses of several agronomic traits (yield, plant height, flowering time, and rhizome production) are in progress. The utility of the molecular tools developed towards marker-assisted-breeding in buffelgrass will be discussed.