Euphytica. 1996. In Press.

Overcoming the barrier to interspecific hybridization of Fagopyrum esculentum with Fagopyrum tataricum

Cyrus Samimy, Thomas Bjorkman, Dimuth Siritunga & Lisa Blanchard

Department of Horticultural Sciences, New York State Agricultural Experiment Station, Cornell University, Geneva, NY, 14456, USA.

Abstract. Tartary buckwheat (Fagopyrum tataricum) was successfully hybridized with common buckwheat (F. esculentum), both diploid (2n=16), using the latter as male parent during bud pollination. The barrier normally encountered in such hybridization was overcome by enhancing cross-compatibility of the two species, which was accomplished by synthesizing a unique genotype of common buckwheat. This novel plant was produced by selecting common buckwheat plants that exhibited, at loci PGM, SKDH and ADH, alleles similar to tartary and then transferring these alleles to a single plant through six generations of breeding. Ovule culture was used to rescue the 7-10 day old embryos. On the rescue-culture medium 41% of the hybrid embryos formed small calli larger than 200 m in diameter. Most ceased to grow before reaching 1500 m, but four out of 263 cultured ovules continued to grow as callus. One of these differentiated and formed callus with buds and shoots from which cloned plants were produced. Accidental self-pollination accounted for 1.5% of the embryos which were easily identified by their rapid growth. The remaining embryos either did not grow at all or formed very small calli. When tartary was crossed with the original genotype of common buckwheat, only 22% of the hybrid embryos formed small calli and none differentiated. Hybridity of the calli and the plantlets was determined by RAPD and isozyme analysis, respectively. Flowers produced by the hybrid plants were of the same type (homomorphic) and size as those of tartary,but with white sepals like common buckwheat.

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