, 214:35 | Cite as

Overcoming obstacles to interspecific hybridization between Gossypium hirsutum and G. turneri

  • Yu Chen
  • Yu Chen
  • Shouli Feng
  • Ting Zhao
  • Baoliang ZhouEmail author


Gossypium turneri, a wild cotton species (2n = 2X = 26, D10D10) originating from Mexico, possesses invaluable characteristics unavailable in the cultivated tetraploid cotton gene pool, such as caducous involucels at anthesis, resistance to insects and tolerance to abiotic stresses. However, transferring desired characteristics from wild species into cultivated cotton is often fraught with diverse obstacles. Here, Gossypium hirsutum (as the maternal parent) and G. turneri were crossed in the Hainan Province of China, and the obtained hybrid seeds (2n = 3X = 39, ADD10) were treated with 0.075% colchicine solution for 48 h to double the chromosome complement in order to overcome triploid F1 sterility and to generate a fertile hexaploid. Chromosome doubling was successful in four individuals. However, the new synthetic hexaploids derived from these individuals were still highly sterile, and no seeds were generated by selfing or crossing. Therefore, an embryo rescue technique was employed in an attempt to produce progenies from the new synthetic hexaploids. Consequently, a total of six large embryos were obtained on MSB2K medium supplemented with 0.5 mg l−1 KIN and 250 mg l−1 CH using ovules from backcrossing that were 3 days post-anthesis. Four grafted surviving seedlings were confirmed to be the progenies (pentaploids) of the new synthetic hexaploids using cytological observations and molecular markers. Eight putative fertile individuals derived from backcrossing the above pentaploids were confirmed using SSR markers and generated an abundance of normal seeds. This research lays a foundation for transferring desirable characteristics from G. turneri into upland cotton.


Chromosome doubling Embryo rescue Gossypium hirsutum Interspecific hybridization Molecular marker Wild cotton 



This program was financially supported in part by the National Key Research and Development Program of China (2016YFD0100203), the National Key Technology R&D Program of China during the Twelfth Five-year Plan Period [Grant Number 2013BAD01B03-04] and Jiangsu Collaborative Innovation Center for Modern Crop Production. The funders had no role in the study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript. We also acknowledge Dr. Kunbo Wang, Vice Director of Cotton Research Institute of Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, for providing pollen of Gossypium turneri. We are grateful to Dr. RJ Kohel of the Southern Plains Agricultural Research Center, USDA-ARS, for providing seeds of Gossypium hirsutum acc. TM-1. We also express our thanks to Dr. Fang, Crop Genetics Research Unit, USDA-ARS, for kindly providing the DNA of G. turneri.


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Crop Genetics & Germplasm Enhancement, MOE Hybrid Cotton R&D Engineering Research CenterNanjing Agricultural UniversityNanjingPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Institute of Botany, Jiangsu Province and Chinese Academy of SciencesNanjingPeople’s Republic of China
  3. 3.Key Laboratory of Cotton Breeding and Cultivation in Huang-Huai-Hai Plain, Ministry of AgricultureCotton Research Center of Shandong Academy of Agricultural SciencesJinanPeople’s Republic of China

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