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Asymmetric hybridization in Nicotiana by fusion of irradiated protoplasts

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Summary

Mesophyll protoplasts of a kanamycin-resistant, nopaline-positive Nicotiana plumbaginifolia seed line were inactivated by γ-irradiation and electrically fused with unirradiated mesophyll protoplasts of N. tabacum. Hybrids were selected on kanamycin and regenerated. Genetic material from N. plumbaginifolia was detected in these plants by the following criteria: (1) morphology, (2) esterase isozyme profiles, and (3) the presence of nopaline in leaf extracts. All of the plants regenerated were morphologically more similar to N. tabacum than to N. plumbaginifolia, and many were indistinguishable from N. tabacum. It was found that 37 plants displayed one or two esterases characteristic of N. plumbaginifolia in addition to a full set of esterases from N. tabacum. Based on their esterases, we have classified these plants as somatic hybrids. However, irradiation has clearly reduced the amount of N. plumbaginifolia genetic material that they retain; 24 plants were found that had only N. tabacum esterases but that produced nopaline and were kanamycin resistant. Genomic DNA from several of these plants was probed by Southern blotting for the presence of the authentic neomycin phosphotransferase gene (kanamycin-resistance gene) — all were found to contain the gene. These plants were classified as asymmetric hybrids. Finally, 25 plants were regenerated that were kanamycin sensitive, negative for nopaline, and contained only N. tabacum esterases. All of the regenerated plants, including this final category, were male sterile. As transferring the N. plumbaginifolia cytoplasm to an N. tabacum nuclear background results in an alloplasmic form of male sterility, all of the plants regenerated in this study appear to be cybrids irrespective of their nuclear constitution. Chromosome analysis of the asymmetric hybrids showed that most of them contained one more chromosome than is normal for N. tabacum. The somatic hybrids examined all had several additional chromosomes. Although male sterile, the asymmetric hybrids were female fertile to varying degrees and were successfully backcrossed with N. tabacum. Analysis of the resultant F1 progeny indicated that the kanamycin-resistance gene from N. plumbaginifolia is partially unstable during meiosis, as would be expected for factors inherited on an unpaired chromosome.

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Abbreviations

Km r :

kanamycin resistant

Km s :

kamacysin sensitive

Nop + :

nopaline positive

Nop :

nopaline negative

References

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Communicated by P. Maliga

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Bates, G.W., Hasenkampf, C.A., Contolini, C.L. et al. Asymmetric hybridization in Nicotiana by fusion of irradiated protoplasts. Theoret. Appl. Genetics 74, 718–726 (1987). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00247548

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Key words

  • Gene transfer
  • Asymmetric hybrids
  • Kanamycin resistance
  • Tobacco
  • Fertility