Molecular mapping and candidate gene identification of the Rf2 gene for pollen fertility restoration in sorghum [Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench]
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The A1 cytoplasmic–nuclear male sterility system in sorghum is used almost exclusively for the production of commercial hybrid seed and thus, the dominant genes that restore male fertility in F1 hybrids are of critical importance to commercial seed production. The genetics of fertility restoration in sorghum can appear complex, being controlled by at least two major genes with additional modifiers and additional gene–environment interaction. To elucidate the molecular processes controlling fertility restoration and to develop a marker screening system for this important trait, two sorghum recombinant inbred line populations were created by crossing a restorer and a non-restoring inbred line, with fertility phenotypes evaluated in hybrid combination with three unique cytoplasmic male sterile lines. In both populations, a single major gene segregated for restoration which was localized to chromosome SBI-02 at approximately 0.5 cM from microsatellite marker, Xtxp304. In the two populations we observed that approximately 85 and 87% of the phenotypic variation in seed set was associated with the major Rf gene on SBI-02. Some evidence for modifier genes was also observed since a continuum of partial restored fertility was exhibited by lines in both RIL populations. With the prior report (Klein et al. in Theor Appl Genet 111:994–1012, 2005) of the cloning of the major fertility restoration gene Rf1 in sorghum, the major fertility restorer locus identified in this study was designated Rf2. A fine-mapping population was used to resolve the Rf2 locus to a 236,219-bp region of chromosome SBI-02, which spanned ~31 predicted open reading frames including a pentatricopeptide repeat (PPR) gene family member. The PPR gene displayed high homology with rice Rf1. Progress towards the development of a marker-assisted screen for fertility restoration is discussed.
KeywordsSorghum Recombinant Inbred Line Recombinant Inbred Line Population Fertility Restoration Restorer Line
We thank the Australian Grains Research and Development Cooperation (GRDC; http://www.grdc.com.au), USDA-ARS and Queensland Primary Industries and Fisheries providing financial support for this research.
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