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A Lactuca universal hybridizer, and its use in creation of fertile interspecific somatic hybrids

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A Lactuca sativa cv. Ardente line heterozygous for a gene encoding resistance to kanamycin, a positive and dominant trait, was crossed with cv. Girelle, which is heterozygous for a recessive albinism marker. The resulting seeds yielded 25% albino seedlings, of which 50% were also resistant to kanamycin. Such plantlets (KR, a) grown in vitro were used for preparation of universal hybridizer protoplasts, since green buds that can develop on kanamycin containing-medium should result from fusion with any wild-type protoplast. To test the practicability of this selection scheme, we fused L. sativa KR, a protoplasts with protoplasts derived from various wild Lactuca as well as various other related species. Protoplast-derived cell colonies were selected for resistance to kanamycin at the regeneration stage. Green buds were regenerated after fusion with protoplasts of L. tatarica and of L. perennis. So far, 9 interspecific hybrid plants have been characterized morphologically. In addition, random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) analysis with selected primers confirmed that these plants are indeed interspecific hybrids. Some plants are female-fertile and production of backcross progenies with L. sativa is in progress. Since many desirable traits such as resistances to viruses, bacteria and fungi (Bremia lactucae) have been characterized in wild Lactuca species, the use of somatic hybridization in breeding programmes now appears a practical possibility.

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Correspondence to Yves Chupeau.

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Communicated by G. Melchers

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Chupeau, M., Maisonneuve, B., Bellec, Y. et al. A Lactuca universal hybridizer, and its use in creation of fertile interspecific somatic hybrids. Molec. Gen. Genet. 245, 139–145 (1994). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00283260

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Key words

  • Protoplast fusion
  • Albinism
  • Resistance to kanamycin
  • Plant regeneration
  • Lactuca sp.