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Somatic hybridization between male sterile Nicotiana tabacum and N. glutinosa through protoplast fusion

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Protoplasts derived from suspension cultured cells of cytoplasmic male sterile Nicotiana tabacum (N. debneyi cytoplasm) and of fertile N. glutinosa were fused with the aid of polyethylene glycol (PEG). Out of 1,089 colonies developed from PEG-treated protoplasts, 29 restored whole plants.

A somatic hybrid plant was selected on the basis of isoelectrofocusing analysis of Fraction I protein in leaves of regenerated plants. A newly created hybrid contained small subunits of both parents but only a N. glutinosa type large subunit.

Male sterile character was conserved in a hybrid plant while leaf morphology was intermediate between the parents. By tobacco mosaic virus infection tests, the hybrid's leaves showed resistant symptoms, hypersensitive local lesions, which were due to N. glutinosa nuclear genome expression.

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Polyethylene glycol


Tobacco mosaic virus


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Communicated by K. Tsunewaki

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Uchimiya, H. Somatic hybridization between male sterile Nicotiana tabacum and N. glutinosa through protoplast fusion. Theoret. Appl. Genetics 61, 69–72 (1982).

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Key words

  • Protoplast fusion
  • Cytoplasmic male sterility
  • Tobacco
  • Fraction I protein
  • TMV resistance