The PET2-cytoplasm represents a well characterized new source of cytoplasmic male sterility (CMS) in sunflower. It is distinct from the PET1-cytoplasm, used worldwide for commercial hybrid breeding, although it was, as PET1, derived from an interspecific cross between Helianthus. petiolaris and H. annuus. Fertility restoration is essential for the use of CMS PET2 in sunflower hybrid breeding. Markers closely linked to the fertility restorer gene are needed to build up a pool of restorer lines. Fertility-restored F1-hybrids RHA 265(PET2) × IH-51 showed pollen viability of 98.2% ± 1.2, indicating a sporophytic mode of fertility restoration. Segregation analyses in the F2-population of the cross RHA 265(PET2) × IH-51 revealed that this cross segregated for one major restorer gene Rf-PET2. Bulked-segregant analyses investigating 256 amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) primer combinations revealed a high degree of polymorphism in this cross. Using a subset of 24 AFLP markers, three sequence-tagged site (STS) markers and three microsatellite markers, Rf-PET2 could be mapped to the distal region of linkage group 13 between ORS1030 and ORS630. Three AFLP markers linked to Rf-PET2 were cloned and sequenced. Homology search against the sunflower genome sequence of HanXRQ v1r1 confirmed the physical location of Rf-PET2 close to the restorer gene Rf1 for CMS PET1. STS markers were mapped that can now be used for marker-assisted selection.
Keywords: Helianthus; Rf-PET2; Rf1; cytoplasmic male sterility (CMS), sunflower; fertility restoration; hybrid breeding; marker; new CMS sources.