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Theor Appl Genet. 2008 Aug;117(4):581-94. doi: 10.1007/s00122-008-0803-6. Epub 2008 May 31.

A major locus expressed in the male gametophyte with incomplete penetrance is responsible for in situ gynogenesis in maize.

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INRA, UMR1095 Génétique, Diversité et Ecophysiologie des Céréales (GDEC), 234 avenue du Brézet, 63100 Clermont-Ferrand, France.


In flowering plants, double fertilization occurs when the egg cell and the central cell are each fertilized by one sperm cell. In maize, some lines produce pollen capable of inducing in situ gynogenesis thereby leading to maternal haploids that originate exclusively from the female plant. In this paper, we present a genetic analysis of in situ gynogenesis in maize. Using a cross between non-inducing and inducing lines, we identified a major locus on maize chromosome 1 controlling in situ gynogenesis (ggi1, for gynogenesis inducer 1). Fine mapping of this locus was performed, and BAC physical contigs spanning the locus were identified using the rice genome as anchor. Genetic component analysis showed that (a) a segregation distortion against the inducer parent was present at this locus, (b) segregation resulted only from male deficiency and (c) there was a correlation between the rate of segregation distortion and the level of gynogenetic induction. In addition, our results showed that the genotype of the pollen determined its capacity to induce the formation of a haploid female embryo, indicating gametophytic expression of the character with incomplete penetrance. We propose the occurrence of a gametophytic-specific process which leads to segregation distortion at the ggi1 locus associated with gynogenetic induction with incomplete penetrance.

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