Introgression and molecular tagging of Rf (4), a new male fertility restoration gene from wild sunflower Helianthus maximiliani L

Theor Appl Genet. 2008 Jul;117(2):241-9. doi: 10.1007/s00122-008-0769-4. Epub 2008 Apr 25.


Cytoplasmic male sterility (CMS) and its fertility restoration (Rf) genes are critical tools for hybrid seed production to utilize heterosis. In sunflower, CMS PET1 and the associated Rf gene Rf (1) is the only source extensively used in commercial hybrid production. The objective of this research was to develop new sources of CMS and fertility restorers to broaden the genetic diversity of hybrid seed production. We identified a new type of CMS, named as CMS GIG2, from an interspecific cross between Helianthus giganteus accession1934 and H. annuus cv. HA 89. Based on reactions to a set of standard Rf testers, CMS GIG2 is different from all previously reported CMS types, including the CMS GIG1 from another H. giganteus accession. We also identified an Rf gene for CMS GIG2 from wild species H. maximiliani accession 1631. The CMS GIG2 and its restoration gene were introduced into HA 89 background through recurrent backcross and single plant selection techniques. Genetic analysis revealed that the CMS GIG2-Rf system is controlled by a completely dominant gene, named as Rf (4), and the gene additive and dominance effects were estimated as 39.9 and 42.2%, respectively, in the HA 89 background. The gene Rf (4) was mapped onto linkage group 3 with simple sequence repeat (SSR) markers and RFLP-derived STS-marker, and is about 0.9 cM away from the SSR marker ORS1114 based on a segregation population of 933 individuals. The CMS GIG2-Rf (4) system tagged by molecular markers provides an alternative genetic source for hybrid breeding in the sunflower crop.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Chromosome Mapping
  • Chromosome Segregation
  • Crosses, Genetic
  • Cytoplasm / genetics
  • Fertility / genetics
  • Genes, Plant*
  • Helianthus / genetics*
  • Inbreeding
  • Inheritance Patterns / genetics
  • Plant Infertility / genetics
  • Pollen / genetics