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Mol Gen Genet. 1991 Feb;225(2):273-7.

Direct selection for paternal inheritance of chloroplasts in sexual progeny of Nicotiana.

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  • 1Department of Plant Genetics, Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel.


The response of Nicotiana tabacum to tentoxin (chlorosis) is inherited with chloroplasts. N. tabacum var. Xanthi, a tentoxin-resistant line, was used to pollinate tentoxin-sensitive N. tabacum line 92, an alloplasmic male-sterile line containing N. undulata plastids. The seeds were mutagenized with nitrosomethylurea and germinated in the presence of tentoxin. Two percent of the seedlings had green sectors in their first true leaves. These plants were grown to maturity under non-selective conditions. Homogeneous tentoxin-resistant lines were obtained in the third generation. DNA analysis indicated, however, that selection for paternal plastids, rather than mutagenesis of maternal ones, had occurred in the tentoxin-resistant progeny. Mitochondria, which were not under selection pressure, were inherited maternally as expected. Inheritance of tentoxin-resistant paternal plastids did not require seed mutagenesis. Normally germinated seedlings that were kept under tentoxin selection consistently produced a low level of resistant green sectors in their first true leaves. Thus, normal, low-frequency transmission of paternal plastids in N. tabacum can be directly revealed by using tentoxin.

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