Apomixis: Its Identification and Use in Plant Breeding1
- W. W. Hanna and
- E. C. Bashaw2
Apomixis, an asexual method of reproduction through the seed, provides unique opportunities for developing superior cultivars in the future. Apomixis occurs at low levels in some cultivated species and can be found in closely related species of many cultivated crops.The purposes of this paper are to help plant breeders and geneticists recognize apomixis and to show how it can be used in plant improvement.Transfer of apomixis to important crops would make possible development of true-breeding hybrids and commercial production of hybrids without a need for cytoplasmic male sterility and high cost, labor-intensive processes. Obligately apomictic hybrids would breed true regardless of heterozygosity. It could also provide an efficient method for incorporating genes into new genotypes. Superiorobligate apomictic genotypes would be ready for performance testing without a need for progeny testing to determine genetic stability. The commercial hybrid production process would be simplified with apomictic hybrids. Several apomixis mechanisms have been shown to be genetically controlled and therefore subject to genetic manipulation in plant breeding programs. Characteristics such as: (i) uniform progenies from heterozygous F1 or open-pollinated parents, (ii) maternal types in crosses, (iii) high seed set in unstable genotypes, and (iv) multiple ovules and seedings per ovule are indicators of apomixis that should be investigated.Please view the pdf by using the Full Text (PDF) link under 'View' to the left.
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