Interspecific crossing of the African indigenous rice Oryza glaberrima with Oryza sativa cultivars is hindered by crossing barriers causing 100% spikelet sterility in F1 hybrids. Since hybrids are partially female fertile, fertility can be restored by back crossing (BC) to a recurrent male parent. Distinct genetic models on spikelet sterility have been developed predicting, e.g., the existence of a gamete eliminator and/or a pollen killer. Linkage of sterility to the waxy starch synthase gene and the chromogen gene C, both located on chromosome 6, have been demonstrated. We selected a segregating BC2F3 population of semi-sterile O. glaberrima × O. sativa indica hybrid progenies for analyses with PCR markers located at the respective chromosome-6 region. These analyses revealed that semi-sterile plants were heterozygous for a marker (OSR25) located in the waxy promoter, whereas fertile progenies were homozygous for the O. glaberrima allele. Adjacent markers showed no linkage to spikelet sterility. Semi-sterility of hybrid progenies was maintained at least until the F4 progeny generation, suggesting the existence of a pollen killer in this plant material. Monitoring of reproductive plant development showed that spikelet sterility was at least partially due to an arrest of pollen development at the microspore stage. In order to address the question whether genes responsible for F1 sterility in intraspecific hybrids (O. sativa indica × japonica) also cause spikelet sterility in interspecific hybrids, crossings with wide compatibility varieties (WCV) were performed. WCV accessions possess "neutral" S-loci (S n) improving fertility in intraspecific hybrids. This experiment showed that the tested S n-loci had no fertility restoring effect in F1 interspecific hybrids. Pollen development was completely arrested at the microspore stage and grains were never obtained after selfing. This suggests that distinct or additional S-loci are responsible for sterility of O. glaberrima × O. sativa hybrids.
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We thank the Deutsche Akademischer Austauschdienst (DAAD) for granting a post-doc scholarship for Dr. S. Heuer (D/99/18141). We are grateful to Dr. S. Braconnier and colleagues at the CERAAS (CIRAD) institute in Thiès (Senegal), as well as to Prof. Dr. H. Loerz, Dr. T. Dresselhaus and the team at Hamburg University (Germany), for the provision of greenhouse and laboratory facilities. Many thanks to Dr. A. Ghesquière and Dr. M. Lorieux (IRD, Montpellier, France) for the PCR primers and stimulating discussions.
Communicated by H.C. Becker
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Heuer, S., Miézan, K.M. Assessing hybrid sterility in Oryza glaberrima × O. sativa hybrid progenies by PCR marker analysis and crossing with wide compatibility varieties. Theor Appl Genet 107, 902–909 (2003). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00122-003-1325-x
- Crossing barriers
- Hybrid rice
- Oryza glaberrima
- Oryza sativa