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Genetics. 1997 Apr;145(4):1139-48.

Genetics of hybrid sterility and hybrid breakdown in an intersubspecific rice (Oryza sativa L.) population.

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  • 1Department of Soil and Corp Science, Texas A&M University, College Station 77843-2474, USA.


F1 hybrid sterility and "hybrid breakdown" of F2 and later generations in rice (Oryza sativa L.) are common and genetically complicated. We used a restriction fragment length polymorphism linkage map and F4 progeny testing to investigate hybrid sterility and hybrid breakdown in a cross between "widely compatible" O. sativa ssp. japonica cultivar Lemont from the Southern U.S. and ssp. indica cultivar Teqing from China. Our results implicate different genetic mechanisms in hybrid sterility and hybrid breakdown, respectively. Hybrid sterility appeared to be due to recombination within a number of putative differentiated "supergenes" in the rice genome, which may reflect cryptic structural rearrangements. The cytoplasmic genome had a large effect on fertility of both male and female gametes in the F1 hybrids. There appeared to be a pair of complementary genes that behaved like "wide compatibility" genes. This pair of genes and the "gamete eliminator" (S1) or "egg killer" (S-5) may influence the phenotypic effects of presumed supergenes in hybrids. Hybrid breakdown appeared to be largely due to incompatibilities between indica and japonica alleles at many unlinked epistatic loci in the genome. These proposed mechanisms may partly account for the complicated nature of postreproductive barriers in rice.

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