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Inheritance of Seed Color in Flax


This article in CS

  1. Vol. 43 No. 6, p. 1945-1951
    Received: Oct 16, 2002

    * Corresponding author(s): gordon.rowland@usask.ca
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  1. Omprakash Mittapallia and
  2. Gordon Rowland *b
  1. a Department of Biological Sciences, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada T6G 2E9
    b Crop Development Centre, 51 Campus Drive, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan Canada S7N 5A8


Seed color of flax (Linum usitatissimum L.) is used in Canada to identify the two main market types. Traditional, high linolenic acid flax must have brown seed, while solin or zero linolenic acid flax must be yellow-seeded. The objective of this study was to determine the allelic–gene relationship of the dominant yellow gene, the variegated recessive gene, and various spontaneous and unknown recessive yellow genes in flax. Eleven flax cultivars or lines, four spontaneous recessive yellow seed mutants (YSED2, YSED4, S95407, and S96071), one recessive yellow European line (G-1186/94), two dominant yellow seed lines (CPI84495 and YSED18), one variegated line (M96006), and three brown lines (‘ED47’, ‘Vimy’, and ‘CDC Bethune’) were crossed in all possible combinations, excluding reciprocals. Test crosses were performed with four USDA-ARS introductions (‘Minerva’, ‘Bolley Golden’, ‘Crystal’, and ‘Bionda’) possessing the four different seed color genes, to determine which locus controlled the yellow–variegated seed color. Test cross data indicated that YSED2, YSED4, S95407, and S96071 possessed the same recessive allele of the g locus producing yellow seed. The European yellow line, G-1186/94, had a recessive allele at the d locus producing yellow seed, and a dominant yellow Y1 allele was carried by CPI84495 and YSED18. The variegated seed color was conditioned by a second recessive allele of the b1 locus, designated as b1vg Segregation analysis indicated that all the four loci governing seed color were inherited independently except for a possible weak linkage between g and b1vg The recessive genes (g, d, and b1vg ), when homozygous recessive, were epistatic to the other loci carrying dominant alleles.

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Copyright © 2003. Crop Science Society of AmericaCrop Science Society of America