Male-sterility was found in diploid dandelions from two widely separated populations from France, and its inheritance was analysed by crossing a diploid male-sterile dandelion to diploid sexuals and triploid apomicts. Nuclear genetic variation, found in full-sib families, segregated for male-fertility, partial male-sterility, and full male-sterility, and also segregated for small-sized versus normally sized pollen. The crossing results are best explained by a cytoplasmic male-sterility factor in combination with two dominant restorer genes. Involvement of the cytoplasmic male-sterility factor was further investigated by chloroplast haplotyping. Male-sterility was exclusively associated with a rare chloroplast haplotype (designated 16b). This haplotype was found in seven male-sterile plants and one (apparently restored) male-fertile individual but does not occur in 110 co-existing male-fertile plants and not in several hundreds of individuals previously haplotyped. Apomicts with cytoplasmic male sterility were generated in some test crosses. This raises the question as to whether the male sterility found in natural dandelion apomicts, is of cytoplasmic or of nuclear genetic nature. As many breeding systems in Taraxacum are involved in shaping population structure, it will be difficult to predict the evolutionary consequences of nuclear-cytoplasmic male-sterility for this species complex. [KEYWORDS: Taraxacum; apomixis; CMS]
Original languageEnglish
Journal publication date2004

ID: 329314