UNREDUCED MEGAGAMETOPHYTE FORMATION VIA SECOND DIVISION RESTITUTION CONTRIBUTES TO TETRAPLOID PRODUCTION IN INTERPLOIDY CROSSES WITH ‘ORAH’ MANDARIN (
Seedless fruits are desirable in the citrus fresh fruit market. Triploid production via diploid × tetraploid interploidy crosses is thought to be the most efficient and widely-used strategy for the breeding of seedless citrus. Although ‘Orah’ mandarin has desirable organoleptic qualities, seeds in the fruits weaken its market competitiveness. To produce new seedless cultivars that are similar to ‘Orah’ mandarin, we performed three 2x × 4x crosses using ‘Orah’ mandarin as the seed parent to regenerate triploid plantlets. A total of 182 triploid and 36 tetraploid plantlets were obtained. By analyzing their genetic origins using nine novel single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) markers, all of the triploids and tetraploids derived from these three crosses were proven to be hybrids. Also, we demonstrated that 2n megagametophyte formation in ‘Orah’ mandarin result in tetraploid production in these three interploidy crosses. These tetraploid plantlets were genotyped using eight pericentromeric SNP markers and nine centromere distal SNP markers. Based on the genotypes of the 2n megagametophytes, the parental heterozygosity rates in 16 SNP loci and all 2n megagametophytes were less than 50%, indicating that second division restitution was the mechanism underlying 2n megagametophyte formation at both the population and individual levels. These triploid hybrids enrich the germplasm available for seedless breeding. Moreover, the tetraploid hybrids are valuable as parents for ploidy breeding for the production of seedless citrus fruits.
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