, Volume 91, Issue 4, pp 639-646

Domestication via hybridization of the wild tetraploid oats Avena magna and A. murphyi

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The wild tetraploid (2n=28) oat species Avena magna and A. murphyi have been domesticated by having been transferred from the common oat, A sativa (2n=42), the characteristics of non-shedding spikelets glabrous and yellow lemma, and reduced awn formation. Domestication has been achieved by crossing the common oat with either of the tetraploid species and then backcrossing the pentaploid hybrids with pollen of the tetraploid wild parent. Among the BC plants obtained only a few produced some seeds. Fertile tetraploids exhibiting the domesticated syndrome have been selected for in the F2 generation. Although morphologically they were almost indistinguishable from the common oat, they were tetraploids. Wild x domesticated A. magna hybrids were vigorous and fertile. They retained their spikelets at maturity, lemma color and pubescence were intermediate between the parental lines, and awns were formed only on the lower floret of the spikelet. Each of these characteristics segregated in a 3∶1 fashion, indicating single gene control, as in the common oat. These four characteristics formed a linkage group in one F2 family and two linkage groups in the other two families. The usefulness of the domesticated tetraploids for oat research and production has been discussed. Taxonomically, the domesticated tetraploids were ranked as subspecies: A. magna ssp. domestica, and A. murphyi ssp. rigida.

Communicated by G. Wenzel