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Transfer of resistance to the beet cyst nematode (Heterodera Schachtii Schm.) from Sinapis alba L. (white mustard) to the Brassica napus L. gene pool by means of sexual and somatic hybridization


Sexual and somatic hybrid plants have been produced between Sinapis alba L. (white mustard) and Brassica napus L. (oil-seed rape), with the aim to transfer resistance to the beet cyst nematode Heterodera schachtii Schm. (BCN) from white mustard into the oil-seed rape gene pool. Only crosses between diploid accessions of S. alba (2n = 24, Sa1Sa1) as the pistillate parent and several B. napus accessions (2n = 38, AACC) yielded hybrid plants with 31 chromosomes. Crosses between tetraploid accessions of S. alba (2n = 48, Sa1Sa1Sa1Sa1) and B. napus were unsuccessful. Somatic hybrid plants were also obtained between a diploid accession of S. alba and B. napus. These hybrids were mitotically unstable, the number of chromosomes ranging from 56 to more than 90. Analysis of total DNA using a pea rDNA probe confirmed the hybrid nature of the sexual hybrids, whereas for the somatic hybrids a pattern identical to that of B. napus was obtained. Using chloroplast (cp) and mitochondrial (mt) DNA sequences, we found that all of the sexual F1 hybrids and somatic hybrids contained cpDNA and mtDNA of the S. alba parent. No recombinant mtDNA or cpDNA pattern was observed. Three BC1 plants were obtained when sexual hybrids were back-crossed with B. napus. Backcrossing of somatic hybrids with B. napus was not successful. Three sexual hybrids and one BC1 plant, the latter obtained from a cross between a sexual hybrid and B. napus, were found to show a high level of BCN resistance. The level of BCN resistance of the somatic hybrids was in general high, but varied between cuttings from the same plant. Results from cytological studies of chromosome association at meiotic metaphase I in the sexual hybrids suggest partial homology between chromosomes of the AC and Sa1 genomes and thus their potential for gene exchange.

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Communicated by G. Wenzel

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Lelivelt, C.L.C., Leunissen, E.H.M., Frederiks, H.J. et al. Transfer of resistance to the beet cyst nematode (Heterodera Schachtii Schm.) from Sinapis alba L. (white mustard) to the Brassica napus L. gene pool by means of sexual and somatic hybridization. Theoret. Appl. Genetics 85, 688–696 (1993).

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Key words

  • Intergeneric crosses
  • Somatic hybridization
  • Sinapis alba
  • Brassica napus
  • Heterodera schachtii
  • Nematode resistance