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Genome. 2008 Sep;51(9):749-56. doi: 10.1139/G08-061.

Genetic recombination in Sorghum bicolor x S. macrospermum interspecific hybrids.

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  • 1Department of Soil and Crop Sciences, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843, USA.


Sorghum has been improved by public and private breeding programs utilizing germplasm mostly from within the species Sorghum bicolor. Until recently, cross-incompatibilities have prevented hybridization of S. bicolor with most other species within the genus Sorghum. Utilizing germplasm homozygous for the iap allele, hybrids were readily produced between S. bicolor (2n = 20; AAB1B1) and S. macrospermum (2n = 40; WWXXYYZZ). These hybrids were intermediate to the parents in chromosome number (2n = 30) and overall morphology. Meiosis in both parents was regular; S. bicolor had 10 bivalents per pollen mother cell (PMC) and S. macrospermum had an average of 19.96 bivalents per PMC. Six hybrids were studied cytologically and meiosis was irregular, with the chromosomes associating primarily as univalents and bivalents. There was an average of 3.54 bivalents per PMC, with a range of 0-8 bivalents, most of which were rods (98%). Using FISH (fluorescent in situ hybridization), moderate levels (2.6 II per PMC) of allosyndetic recombination were observed. Genomic relationships were sufficient to assign S. macrospermum the genomic formula AAB1B1YYZZ (Y and Z remain unknown). Allosyndetic recombination in the interspecific hybrids indicates that introgression through genetic recombination should be possible if viable backcrosses can be recovered.

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