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Theor Appl Genet. 2003 May;106(7):1156-63. Epub 2002 Dec 13.

Brassica napus lines with rearranged Arabidopsis mitochondria display CMS and a range of developmental aberrations.

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  • 1Department of Plant Biology, Box 7080, Swedish University for Agricultural Sciences, 750 07 Uppsala, Sweden.


Numerous Brassica napus (+) Arabidopsis thaliana somatic hybrids were screened for male sterility and aberrant flower phenotypes. Nine hybrids were selected and backcrossed recurrently to B. napus. The resulting lines displayed stable maternal inheritance of flower phenotypes. Nuclear and organellar genomes were characterized molecularly using RFLP analysis. No DNA from A. thaliana was found in the nuclear genome after six back-crosses, whilst the mitochondrial genomes contained rearranged DNA from both A. thaliana and B. napus. Each line tested had a unique RFLP pattern of the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) that remained unchanged between the BC(3) and BC(6) generation. The plastid genomes consisted of B. napus DNA. Five lines of the BC(5) generation were subjected to more comprehensive investigations of growth, morphology and fertility. On the basis of these investigations, the five CMS lines could be assigned to two groups, one represented by three lines displaying reduced vegetative development, complete male sterility, and homeotic conversions of stamens into feminized structures. The second group, represented by the other two lines, were not completely male-sterile but still displayed severely affected flower morphologies. These two lines did not display any reduction in vegetative development. For both groups only stamens and petals suffered from the morphological and functional aberrations, while the sepals and pistils displayed normal morphology. All plants were fully female-fertile. Different rearrangements of the mitochondrial genome disturbed nuclear-mitochondrial interactions and led to various types of aberrant growth and flower development. The existence of numerous CMS lines with different mitochondrial patterns involving a species with a sequenced genome offers new opportunities to investigate the genetic regulation of CMS and its associated developmental perturbations.

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