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Abstract Detail

Colloquium: Speaking of Food: connecting basic and applied science

Sarmiento, Shaun [1], Bernhardt, Peter [1], Joseph, Michael [1], McAllister, Christine [1], Timmer, Jacob [1], Miller, Allison [1].

Mate limitation and reduced fertility in a clonally propagated perennial crop.

Genetic variation is the foundation of plant breeding and crop improvement programs. The ability of crops to produce viable seed is critical for plant evolution and for the generation, maintenance, and conservation of crop genetic resources; however, many perennial crops exhibit low fertility rates. Clonal reproduction is a common feature of perennial crops and may exacerbate evolutionary processes driving reductions in fertility through mate limitation on a local scale. Horseradish (Armoracia rusticana, Brassicaceae), a perennial, clonally propagated herb grown for its pungent root, exhibits limited fertility relative to its wild progenitors. Here, we integrate population genetics and genomics to test the hypothesis that sterility is the result of mate limitation resulting from clonal propagation of self-incompatible individuals. Guided by field, lab studies, and greenhouse studies that suggest at least some horseradish individuals are self-incompatible, we sequenced a putative self-incompatibility locus in cultivated A. rusticana populations collected in Europe and Russia. Then, we generated genotyping-by-sequencing data to assess clonal architecture within and among cultivated A. rusticana populations. Preliminary data demonstrate that S alleles are spatially clumped. It is expected that genotyping-by-sequencing data will confirm that the spatial aggregation of S alleles reflects clonal structure within and among populations. This study points to clonal propagation as a potential driver of sterility in perennial crops through local fixation of S alleles. Interestingly, the presence of unique S alleles and clones in different populations suggests a “locally sterile, globally fertile” phenomenon, underscoring the importance of maintaining genetically distinct individuals to ensure sexual reproduction in perennial crops.

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1 - Saint Louis University, Department of Biology, 3507 Laclede Avenue, St. Louis, MO, 63130, USA

mate limitation
crop evolution
Clonal plants
crop science.

Presentation Type: Symposium or Colloquium Presentation
Session: C7
Location: Grand Ballroom A/Riverside Hilton
Date: Tuesday, July 30th, 2013
Time: 3:00 PM
Number: C7005
Abstract ID:929
Candidate for Awards:None

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