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Incompatibility Systems in Switchgrass


This article in CS

  1. Vol. 42 No. 6, p. 1800-1805
    Received: Nov 26, 2001

    * Corresponding author(s): kpv@unlserve.unl.edu
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  1. J. M. Martínez-Reynaa and
  2. K. P. Vogel *b
  1. a Univ. Autónoma Agraria Antonio Narro, Buenavista, Saltillo, Coahuila, México
    b USDA-ARS, 344 Keim Hall, Univ. of Nebraska, P.O. Box 830937, Lincoln, NE 68583-0937


Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.), a cross-pollinated perennial, produces very little or no seed when self-pollinated, indicating the presence of self-incompatibility mechanisms. Knowledge of self-incompatibility mechanisms is required to use germplasm effectively in a breeding program. The objective of this study was to characterize features of the incompatibility systems in switchgrass. Seed set and seed characteristics of reciprocal matings of tetraploid, octaploid, and tetraploid × octaploid plants were used as measures of incompatibility. Both bagged mutual pollination and manual emasculation and pollination methods were used to make crosses. The percentages of self-compatibility in the tetraploid and octaploid parent plants were 0.35 and 1.39%, respectively. Prefertilization incompatibility in switchgrass is apparently under gametophytic control, since there were significant differences in percentage of compatible pollen as measured by percentage of total seed set between reciprocal matings within ploidy levels. Results indicated that the prefertilization incompatibility system in switchgrass is similar to the S-Z incompatibility system found in other members of the Poaceae. A postfertilization incompatibility system also exists that inhibits intermatings among octaploid and tetraploid plants. In these interploidy crosses, two very distinctive types of abnormal seed were found. When the female parent was the tetraploid plant, the resulting seed was small and shriveled, while when the female parent was the octaploid, small seed with floury endosperm was obtained. These results are similar to those obtained for endosperm incompatibility due to the endosperm balance number system found in other species.

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Copyright © 2002. Crop Science Society of AmericaPublished in Crop Sci.42:1800–1805.