Congruity backcrossing as a means of creating genetic variability in self pollinated crops: seed morphology of Phaseolus vulgaris L. and P. acutifolius A. Gray hybrids

Summary

Seeds of early generations of three reciprocal congruity-backcross (CBC) pedigrees, developed by backcrossing Phaseolus vulgaris-P. acutifolius hybrids to each of the parent species in alternate generations, exhibited a preponderance of traits (size, shape, color, and pattern) of the cytoplasmic parent. The large size of ‘Red Cloud’ (V1), the P. vulgaris parent common to all of the pedigrees, dominated pedigrees with V1 as the cytoplasmic parent, while the small size and rounded or square shapes of the tepary parents, wild P. acutifolius var. acutifolius PI 263590 or G400445 (A19), wild P. acutifolius var. latifolius PI 406622 (A10), or cultivated P. acutifolius var. latifolius ‘Serowi’ PI 319443 (A9), were the majority phenotypes when P. acutifolius was the cytoplasmic parent. Continuing through the second cycle of CBC, that is the second backcross with each of the parent species or the fourth backcross, began an amelioration of the apparent cytoplasmic effect on gene expression, as reciprocal pedigrees became more alike, usually with intermediate expression of parental traits or the appearance of new traits. The large seed size of V1 was recovered in hybrids with P. acutifolius cytoplasm and the kidney shape of V1 became rare in hybrids with P. vulgaris cytoplasm. Although the tepary-bean parents represented two subspecies and both cultivated and wild P. acutifolius, the three sets of reciprocal-hybrid pedigrees with P. vulgaris ‘Red Cloud’ are surprisingly similar. It may be that the ‘exotic’ parent used to develop a CBC pedigree should be selected more for combining ability in the interspecific cross than for specific economic traits. While the number of generations (six or more) required to produce fertile, intermediate CBC hybrids (that did not require embryo rescue) may preclude routine use of this method by practical plant breeders, the crossability of advanced hybrids with both parental species and the amount of variability apparent in advanced-hybrids progenies suggests that CBC would be valuable for maintaining ‘exotic’ germplasm in immediately useful forms.

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Anderson, N.O., Ascher, P.D. & Haghighi, K. Congruity backcrossing as a means of creating genetic variability in self pollinated crops: seed morphology of Phaseolus vulgaris L. and P. acutifolius A. Gray hybrids. Euphytica 87, 211–224 (1996). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00023748

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Key words

  • cytoplasmic control of gene expression
  • embryo rescue
  • hybrid breakdown
  • incongruity
  • interspecific hybridization
  • introgression
  • Phaseolus