New Hybrid Spikelet Sterility Gene Found in Interspecific Cross between Oryza sativa and O. meridionalis

Plants (Basel). 2022 Jan 29;11(3):378. doi: 10.3390/plants11030378.


Various kinds of reproductive barriers have been reported in intraspecific and interspecific crosses between the AA genome Oryza species, to which Asian rice (O. sativa) and African rice (O. glaberrima) belong. A hybrid seed sterility phenomenon was found in the progeny of the cross between O. sativa and O. meridionalis, which is found in Northern Australia and Indonesia and has diverged from the other AA genome species. This phenomenon could be explained by an egg-killer model. Linkage analysis using DNA markers showed that the causal gene was located on the distal end of chromosome 1. Because no known egg-killer gene was located in that chromosomal region, this gene was named HYBRID SPIKELET STERILITY 57 (abbreviated form, S57). In heterozygotes, the eggs carrying the sativa allele are killed, causing semi-sterility. This killer system works incompletely: some eggs carrying the sativa allele survive and can be fertilized. The distribution of alleles in wild populations of O. meridionalis was discussed from the perspective of genetic differentiation of populations.

Keywords: O. meridionalis; O. sativa; egg-killer; hybrid sterility; reproductive barrier; wild rice.