Influence of parental genotype on plastid inheritance in Medicago sativa

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Research using chlorophyll-deficient mutants has shown that plastids are inherited biparentally in Medicago sativa L. (alfalfa). Variation in plastid transmission behavior was observed among crosses in earlier studies, but it was not determined whether this variation was under genetic control. In my research, genetic analyses of the frequencies of normal (G), chlorophyll-deficient (CD), and sectored (G and CD) progenies produced from G x CD crosses demonstrated that plastid inheritance patterns in alfalfa are influenced by both maternal and paternal genotypes. A strong paternal bias in plastid transmission existed in the majority of crosses despite the potential developmental disadvantages associated with paternally contributed CD plastids. The high frequencies of uniparental progenies suggest that genetic control of plastid inheritance in alfalfa may be exerted through effects on the number and distribution of maternal and paternal plastids early in embryo development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)214-217
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Heredity
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1989

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Genetics(clinical)


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