Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/30/1996
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: Although apomixis is prevalent in many important warm-season forage grasses, its transfer to grain crops is an important objective. Because of the difficulties of transferring apomixis by traditional breeding approaches, a molecular based approach for cloning and transferring the gene(s) for apomixis appears to be a feasible alternative. We are attempting to identify and clone gene(s) controlling apomictic and sexual reproduction in plants for use in transforming cultivated crops. We are studying gene expression in an F1 buffelgrass (Pennisetum ciliare L. syn Cenchrus ciliaris L. Link) population which contains both sexual and apomictic progeny. The research is based on the use of a differential display PCR approach. In an initial survey using mature unpollinated ovaries and a modification of differential display PCR (Vielle-Calzada et al., 1996) eight ovary specific cDNA fragments from 210 to 416 base pairs were identified. Based on Northern analysis, one cDNA fragment (U65383 [GenBank Accession Number]) was detected in sexual ovaries, two cDNAs in apomictic ovaries (U65387 & U65388), and one cDNA fragment was present in both sexual and apomictic of ovaries (U65386). Three fragments (U65082, U65384, & U65385) could not be detected and one fragment was detected in ovaries, stems, and leaves. Research is presently underway to isolate cDNA fragments and construct cDNA libraries from young pistils of sexual and apomictic buffelgrass. The partial cDNA fragments obtained using differential display will then be cloned, sequenced, and used to obtain full-length cDNAs from sexual and apomictic pistils.