Overcoming self-incompatibility in grasses: a pathway to hybrid breeding
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Allogamous grasses exhibit an effective two-locus gametophytic self-incompatibility (SI) system, limiting the range of breeding techniques applicable for cultivar development. Current breeding methods based on populations are characterized by comparably low genetic gains for important traits such as biomass yield. To implement more efficient breeding schemes, the overall understanding of the SI system is crucial as are the mechanisms involved in the breakdown of SI. Self-fertile variants in outcrossing grasses have been studied, and the current level of knowledge includes approximate gene locations, linked molecular markers and first hypotheses on their mode of action. Environmental conditions increasing seed set upon self-pollination have also been described. Even though some strategies were proposed to take advantage of self-fertility, there have, so far, not been changes in the methods applied in cultivar development for allogamous grasses. In this review, we describe the current knowledge about self-fertility in allogamous grasses and outline strategies to incorporate this trait for implementation in synthetic and hybrid breeding schemes.
This is a post-peer-review, pre-copyedit version of an article published in Theoretical and Applied Genetics. The final authenticated version is available online at: http://dx.doi.org/ 10.1007/s00122-016-2775-2.