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Heredity (Edinb). 2011 Jun;106(6):955-61. doi: 10.1038/hdy.2010.143. Epub 2010 Nov 24.

Genetic investigation of the origination of allopolyploid with virtually synthesized lines: application to the C subgenome of Brassica napus.

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College of Agronomy and Biotechnology, Southwest University, Chongqing, China.


Although there are a number of different allopolyploids in the plant kingdom, the exact ancestral parents of some allopolyploids have not been well characterized. We propose a strategy in which virtual allopolyploid lines derived from different types of parental species are used to investigate the progenitors of an allopolyploid. The genotypes of the parental lines and the natural allopolyploid were established using a set of DNA molecular markers. The genotypes of the virtual lines were then derived from those of the parental lines, and compared extensively with that of the natural allopolyploid. We applied this strategy to investigate the progenitors of the C subgenome of Brassica napus (rapeseed, AACC). A total of 39 accessions from 10 wild and 7 cultivated types of the B. oleracea cytodeme (CC), and 4 accessions of B. rapa (AA) were used to construct 156 virtual rapeseed lines. Genetic structure was compared among natural rapeseed, virtual rapeseed lines, and their parental lines by principal component analysis and analysis of ancestry. Our data showed that the C subgenome of natural rapeseed was related closely to the genome of cultivated B. oleracea and its related wild types, such as B. incana, B. bourgeaui, B. montana, B. oleracea ssp. oleracea and B. cretica. This finding indicated that these types or their progeny might be ancestral donors of the C subgenome of rapeseed. The successful application of the strategy of virtual allopolyploidy in rapeseed demonstrates that it can possibly be used to identify the progenitors of an allopolyploid species.

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