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Article

Genetic Dissection of Apomixis in Dandelions Identifies a Dominant Parthenogenesis Locus and Highlights the Complexity of Autonomous Endosperm Formation

1
Keygene N.V., Agro Business Park 90, 6708 PW Wageningen, The Netherlands
2
Keygene Inc., Rockville, MD 20850, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Genes 2020, 11(9), 961; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes11090961
Received: 20 July 2020 / Revised: 7 August 2020 / Accepted: 18 August 2020 / Published: 20 August 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Basis of Apomixis in Plants)
Apomixis in the common dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) consists of three developmental components: diplospory (apomeiosis), parthenogenesis, and autonomous endosperm development. The genetic basis of diplospory, which is inherited as a single dominant factor, has been previously elucidated. To uncover the genetic basis of the remaining components, a cross between a diploid sexual seed parent and a triploid apomictic pollen donor was made. The resulting 95 triploid progeny plants were genotyped with co-dominant simple-sequence repeat (SSR) markers and phenotyped for apomixis as a whole and for the individual apomixis components using Nomarski Differential Interference Contrast (DIC) microscopy of cleared ovules and seed flow cytometry. From this, a new SSR marker allele was discovered that was closely linked to parthenogenesis and unlinked to diplospory. The segregation of apomixis as a whole does not differ significantly from a three-locus model, with diplospory and parthenogenesis segregating as unlinked dominant loci. Autonomous endosperm is regularly present without parthenogenesis, suggesting that the parthenogenesis locus does not also control endosperm formation. However, the high recovery of autonomous endosperm is inconsistent with this phenotype segregating as the third dominant locus. These results highlight the genetic complexity underlying apomixis in the dandelion and underline the challenge of introducing autonomous apomixis into sexual crops. View Full-Text
Keywords: apomixis; diplospory; parthenogenesis; autonomous endosperm; genetics; Taraxacum; dandelion apomixis; diplospory; parthenogenesis; autonomous endosperm; genetics; Taraxacum; dandelion
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MDPI and ACS Style

Van Dijk, P.J.; Op den Camp, R.; Schauer, S.E. Genetic Dissection of Apomixis in Dandelions Identifies a Dominant Parthenogenesis Locus and Highlights the Complexity of Autonomous Endosperm Formation. Genes 2020, 11, 961. https://doi.org/10.3390/genes11090961

AMA Style

Van Dijk PJ, Op den Camp R, Schauer SE. Genetic Dissection of Apomixis in Dandelions Identifies a Dominant Parthenogenesis Locus and Highlights the Complexity of Autonomous Endosperm Formation. Genes. 2020; 11(9):961. https://doi.org/10.3390/genes11090961

Chicago/Turabian Style

Van Dijk, Peter J., Rik Op den Camp, and Stephen E. Schauer 2020. "Genetic Dissection of Apomixis in Dandelions Identifies a Dominant Parthenogenesis Locus and Highlights the Complexity of Autonomous Endosperm Formation" Genes 11, no. 9: 961. https://doi.org/10.3390/genes11090961

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