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Germinal reversion of an unstable mutation for anthocyanin pigmentation in soybean

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Plants of the “w4-mutable” line of soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merr.] are chimeral for anthocyanin pigmentation. Mutable plants produce both near-white and purple flowers, as well as flowers of mutable phenotype with purple sectors on near-white petals. It is established here that the mutable trait is conditioned by an unstable recessive allele of the w4 locus that conditions anthocyanin biosynthesis. The gene symbol w4-m is assigned to the mutable allele. Allele w4-m was derived from a stable, wild-type W4 progenitor allele and reverts at high frequency to a stable, wild-type W4 allele. Reversion occurs both early and late during the development of the germ line. Several experiments give estimates of germinal reversion frequency, indicating that approximately 6% of mutable alleles revert to wild-type from one generation to the next. Allele w4-m exhibits many features typical of an allele controlled by a transposable element.

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Communicated by F. Salamini

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Groose, R.W., Schulte, S.M. & Palmer, R.G. Germinal reversion of an unstable mutation for anthocyanin pigmentation in soybean. Theoret. Appl. Genetics 79, 161–167 (1990). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00225946

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Key words

  • Soybean
  • Glycine max
  • Genetic instability
  • Transposable element
  • Anthocyanin