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Crop Science Abstract -

Application of a Dominant Male-Sterile Allele to the Improvement of Self-Pollinated Crops1


This article in CS

  1. Vol. 22 No. 5, p. 1033-1035
    Received: Nov 30, 1981

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  1. M. E. Sorrells and
  2. S. E. Fritz2



Because of the difficulty of making large numbers of crosses, few breeders of autogamous crops have seriously considered recurrent selection for population improvement unless genetic male-sterility genes are available to facilitate crossing. Procedures using recessive male-sterility genes have been described. The purpose of this paper is to point out how dominant male-sterility genes, which have been found in cotton and wheat, can facilitate cyclical methods. Mass selection, half-sib selection, S1 selection, combinations of these schemes, and backcrossing can be greatly expedited by the use of the dominant male-sterile allele. Important characteristics of the dominant male-sterile are: 1) a generation of selfing is not required to obtain segregates that breed true for fertility; and 2) progenies of male-sterile plants always segregate 1:1 for the dominant malesterile allele. The dominant male-sterile allele has not been put in other cytoplasms because plants carrying it must be used as females; however, it may be possible to identify partial steriles that can be used as males to transfer the allele to another cytoplasm. Random outcrossing may be restricted in some schemes and could be promoted by alternating male rows, higher plant densities, and split planting dates. The dominant male-sterile allele should prove to be an effective tool for long-term population improvement and for maintaining genetic variability.

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