GISH/FISH mapping of genes for freezing tolerance transferred from Festuca pratensis into Lolium multiflorum

A. Kosmala, Z. Zwierzykowski, Dagmara Gasior, M. Rapacz, E. Zwierzykowska, Michael W. Humphreys

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The first backcross breeding programme for the transfer of freezing-tolerance genes from winter hardy Festuca pratensis to winter-sensitive Lolium multiflorum is described. A partly fertile, triploid F1 hybrid F. pratensis (2n=2x=14) L. multiflorum (2n=4x=28) was employed initially, and after two backcrosses to L. multiflorum (2x) a total of 242 backcross two (BC2) plants were generated. Genomic in situ hybridisation (GISH) was performed on 61 BC2 plants selected for their good growth and winter survival characters in the spring following one Polish winter (2000–2001). Among the winter survivors, diploid chromosome numbers were present in 80% of plants. An appropriate single Festuca introgression in an otherwise undisturbed Lolium genome could provide increased freezing tolerance without compromise to the good growth and plant vigour found in Lolium. Among all the diploids, a total of 20 individuals were identified, each with a single F. pratensis chromosome segment. Another diploid plant contained 13 Lolium chromosomes and a large metacentric F. pratensis chromosome, identified as chromosome 4, with two large distal Lolium introgressions on each chromosome arm. Three of the diploid BC2, including the genotype with Festuca chromosome 4 DNA sequences, were found to have freezing tolerance in excess of that of L. multiflorum, and in one case in excess of the F. pratensis used as control. A detailed cytological analysis combining GISH and fluorescence in situ hybridisation analyses with rDNA probes revealed that the other two freezing-tolerant genotypes carried a Festuca chromosome segment at the same terminal location on the non-satellite arm of Lolium chromosome 2.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)243-251
Number of pages9
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2006


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