Assessment of the origin of new citrus tetraploid hybrids (2n = 4x) by means of SSR markers and PCR based dosage effects
We report the accurate determination of the allelic configurations of a total of eight new citrus tetraploid hybrids by means of SSR analysis, coupled with capillary electrophoresis, and PCR based dosage effects. Tetraploid hybrids were spontaneously obtained from different interploid crosses (2x × 4x) between diploid ‘Femminello' lemon and the allotetraploid somatic hybrid (2n = 4x = 36) ‘Key' lime + ‘Valencia' orange, and between diploid ‘Wilking' and ‘Fortune' mandarins and an autotetraploid ‘Dancy' mandarin (2n = 4x = 36). To understand the opportunity to employ them in further backcross programs, the cytological mechanisms underlying their ploidy level were unambiguously determined using six SSR primers. PCR conditions were optimized and skewness in template/product ratios were verified. Tetraploid allelic configurations were determined from PCR based dosage effects using electropherogram peak heights to estimate the copy number per allele. In all the tetraploid hybrids we found out that diploginy (2n eggs) has occurred, contributing the extra haploid genome in the tetraploids. According to the marker genotypes, it was further inferred that the 2n eggs in ‘Femminello' lemon resulted from first division restitution (FDR), while in ‘Wilking' and ‘Fortune' mandarins 2n eggs occurred in second division restitution (SDR). These new genotypes, with their improved genetic female background, can be therefore considered very valuable in our citrus genetic improvement program as pollen donors in backcrosses suitable to eliminate negative traits.
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