Article

Theoretical and Applied Genetics

, Volume 93, Issue 1, pp 183-189

First online:

Somatic hybrid plants between the forage legumes Medicago sativa L. and Medicago arborea L.

  • E. NenzAffiliated withIstituto di Ricerche sul Miglioramento Genetico delle Piante Foraggere del C.N.R.
  • , F. PupilliAffiliated withIstituto di Ricerche sul Miglioramento Genetico delle Piante Foraggere del C.N.R.
  • , F. DamianiAffiliated withIstituto di Ricerche sul Miglioramento Genetico delle Piante Foraggere del C.N.R.
  • , S. ArcioniAffiliated withIstituto di Ricerche sul Miglioramento Genetico delle Piante Foraggere del C.N.R.

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Abstract

Interspecific somatic hybrid plants were obtained by symmetrical electrofusion of mesophyll protoplasts of Medicago sativa with callus protoplasts of Medicago arborea. Somatic hybrid calli were picked manually from semi-solid culture medium after they were identified by their dual color in fluorescent light. Twelve putative hybrid calli were selected and one of them regenerated plants. The morphogenesis of the somatic hybrid calli was induced by the synthetic growth regulator 1,2 benzisoxazole-3-acetic acid. Somatic hybrid plants showed intensive genome rearrangements, as evidenced by isozyme and RFLP analysis. The morphology of somatic hybrid plants was in general intermediate between the parents. The production of hybrids by protoplast fusion between sexually incompatible Medicago species is related to the in vitro respon siveness of the parental protoplasts. The possibility of using somatic hybrid plants in alfalfa breeding is discussed.

Key words

M. sativa M. arborea Protoplast electrofusion Somatic hybrids Genome rearrangements