Correction of chlorophyll-defective male-sterile winter oilseed rape (Brassica napus) through organelle exchange: phenotypic evaluation of progeny
- C. I. 1992. Jarl, C. H. Bornman
- Hereditas 108:97-102;
The production of hybrid seed is facilitated if one parent possesses a male-sterile cytoplasm. Introduction of the cytoplasm of male-sterile radish (Raphanus sativus L.) into rapeseed (Brassica napus L.) results not only in transfer of the desirable male-sterile trait but induces a chlorophyll defect in the backcrossed male-sterile plants. In this study we show that the defect manifests itself in two different ways in the alloplasmic plants: a) smaller and fewer chloroplasts with an impaired ultrastructure and b) an increase in chlorophyll fluorescence. Defective chloroplasts were characterized by a reduction in both the number and size of grana, the latter due to poor stacking of thylakoids and with frequent discontinuity in the intergranal thylakoid systems. The changed chloroplast morphology and the increase in chlorophyll fluorescence are probably the cause of the lowered photosynthetic efficiency associated with the alloplasmic plants. We propose that the deficiency is the result of incompatibility between the genomes of the radish chloroplast and the rapeseed nucleus. Supporting this hypothesis are studies of male-sterile rapeseed plants in which, by protoplast fusion, the radish chloroplasts were substituted by those of normal male-fertile rapeseed. Such plants showed complete restoration of their photosynthetic potential and displayed both normal chloroplast ultrastructure and normal levels of chlorophyll fluorescence.