Detection of the apomictic mode of reproduction in maize-Tripsacum hybrids using maize RFLP markers

Theor Appl Genet. 1995 Jun;90(7-8):1198-203. doi: 10.1007/BF00222943.


Polyploid plants in the genus Tripsacum, a wild relative of maize, reproduce through gametophytic apomixis of the diplosporous type, an asexual mode of reproduction through seed. Moving gene(s) responsible for the apomictic trait into crop plants would open new areas in plant breeding and agriculture. Efforts to transfer apomixis from Tripsacum into maize at CIMMYT resulted in numerou intergeneric F1 hybrids obtained from various Tripsacum species. A bulk-segregant analysis was carried out to identify molecular markers linked to diplospory in T. dactyloides. This was possible because of numerous genome similarities among related species in the Andropogoneae. On the basis of maize RFLP probes, three restriction fragments co-segregating with diplospory were identified in one maize-Tripsacum dactyloides F1 population that segregated 1∶1 for the mode of reproduction. The markers were also found to be linked in the maize RFLP map, on the distal end of the long arm of chromosome 6. These results support a simple inheritance of diplospory in Tripsacum. Manipulation of the mode of reproduction in maize-Tripsacum backcross generations, and implications for the transfer of apomixis into maize, are discussed.