Parent-offspring relationships in apomictic guayule

Dennis T. Ray, David A. Dierig, Anson E. Thompson, Mamadou M. Diallo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


The genetic base of guayule (Parthenium argentatum Gray) germ plasm that is available is narrow; yet, significant variability has been described within this germ plasm. This variability is surprising because guayule reproduces by facultative apomixis (asexual reproduction by seed), but evidence suggests that progress through selection is feasible. It has been hypothesized that this variation has arisen through periodic sexual reproduction; however, this has not been quantified. This study was designed to describe and compare eight components of yield and the expression of two isozyme systems in twenty parent plants and half-sib, open-pollinated families from each parent. Extensive variation for all characters was found among both the parents and the progeny, with fresh and dry weights being highly correlated to rubber yield. Parent-offspring regressions were not significantly different from zero. This implies low heritabilities for the major components of yield in guayule, and we believe that family selection, rather than single-plant selection, may generate higher-yielding and more genetically uniform lines at an escalated rate than single-plant selection. Periodic sexuality resulting in genetic variation was estimated by differences in isozyme expression within the half-sib families. Fifteen of the twenty progeny families were polymorphic for either esterase or peroxidase or both isozymes. This amount of sexuality is significant, and guayule must be considered an open-pollinated crop. We conclude from this study that we should rethink our breeding procedures to include controlled pollination and family selection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1235-1237
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of the American Oil Chemists' Society
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1993


  • Components of yield
  • Parthenium argentatum
  • esterase
  • facultative apomixis
  • family selection
  • genetic variation
  • heritability
  • isozyme polymorphisms
  • parent-offspring regressions
  • peroxidase

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Organic Chemistry


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