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Gynogenic lines of onion (Allium cepa L.): evidence of their homozygosity

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Haploid induction via gynogenesis offers the possibility of using doubled haploid (DH) inbred lines in onion breeding. A first DH line that originated from the open-pollinated (OP) cultivar ‘Dorata di Parma’ was obtained after overcoming difficulties associated with the haploidy of the regenerants. Spontaneous chromosome doubling occurs seldom in onion. The first DH line obtained was cloned and selfed to produce sufficient seeds for genetic studies. The homozygosity of the DH gynogenic line was revealed on the basis of the low standard deviations of the bulb traits polar diameter, shape index and weight with respect to those of the S1 line or the OP cultivar. In the DH line, moreover, segregation of RAPD and alpha esterase markers was not noted. Out of four primers revealing polymorphism at 16 ge-netic loci in the OP cultivar ‘Dorata di Parma’, none produced polymorphism in the DH gynogenic line. The Est-1 locus, homozygous in 22 plants (Est-1 1/1 in 3 and Est-1 2/2 in 19) and heterozygous (Est-1 1/2) in 11 plants of the OP cultivar, always carried the same alleles in the DH line. We also tested genetic stability during micropropagation of a second halpoid line obtained via gynogenesis from var. ‘Senshyu Yellow’. Seventeen plants of this line were tested to detect changes occurring during the tissue culture process. Again no polymorphism was observed. The high genetic homogeneity observed in the two gynogenic lines of onion could be related to the absence of the callus phase during the gynogenic process.

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Communicated by Y. Gleba

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Campion, B., Bohanec, B. & Javornik, B. Gynogenic lines of onion (Allium cepa L.): evidence of their homozygosity. Theoret. Appl. Genetics 91, 598–602 (1995).

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Key words

  • Gynogenesis
  • Isozyme
  • RAPD
  • Agronomic evaluation
  • Gametoclonal variation
  • Genetic homogeneity