, Volume 93, Issue 8, pp 1242-1250

Production of intertribal somatic hybrids between Brassica napus L. and Lesquerella fendleri (Gray) Wats

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Intertribal Brassica napus (+) Lesquerella fendleri hybrids have been produced by polyethylene glycol-induced fusions of B. napus hypocotyl and L. fendleri mesophyll protoplasts. Two series of experiments were performed. In the first, symmetric fusion experiments, protoplasts from the two materials were fused without any pretreatments. In the second, asymmetric fusion experiments, X-ray irradiation at doses of 180 and 200 Gy were used to limit the transfer of the L. fendleri genome to the hybrids. X-ray irradiation of L. fendleri mesophyll protoplasts did not suppress the proliferation rate and callus formation of the fusion products but did significantly decrease growth and differentiation of non-fused L. fendleri protoplasts. In total, 128 regenerated plants were identified as intertribal somatic hybrids on the basis of morphological criteria. Nuclear DNA analysis performed on 80 plants, using species specific sequences, demonstrated that 33 plants from the symmetric fusions and 43 plants from the asymmetric fusions were hybrids. Chloroplast and mitochondrial DNA analysis revealed a biased segregation that favoured B. napus organelles in the hybrids from the symmetric fusion experiments. The bias was even stronger in the hybrids from the asymmetric fusion experiments where no hybrids with L. fendleri organelles were found. X-ray irradiation of L. fendleri protoplasts increased the possibility of obtaining mature somatic hybrid plants with improved fertility. Five plants from the symmetric and 24 plants from the asymmetric fusion experiments were established in the greenhouse. From the symmetric fusions 2 plants could be fertilised and set seeds after cross-pollination with B. napus. From the asymmetric fusions 9 plants could be selfed as well as fertilised when backcrossed with B. napus. Chromosome analysis was performed on all of the plants but 1 that were transferred to the greenhouse. Three plants from the symmetric fusions contained 50 chromosomes, which corresponded to the sum of the parental genomes. From the asymmetric fusions, 11 hybrids contained 38 chromosomes. Among the other asymmetric hybrids, plants with 50 chromosomes and with chromosome numbers higher than the sum of the parental chromosomes were found. When different root squashes of the same plant were analysed, a total of 6 plants were found that had different chromosome numbers.