Monday, November 13, 2006

Determination of apomixis in NPGS Poa lines using flow cytometry.

Alicia Kelley, Paul Johnson, and Blair Waldron. Utah State University, 4820 Old Main Hill, Logan, UT 84321, United States of America

Poa (the bluegrasses) is one of the most diverse genera of the grasses, with the most commonly used being Poa pratensis. Interspecific hybridization between Poa pratensis and other species is becoming more important for breeding efforts to incorporate novel traits. One barrier to hybridization is apomixis. However apomixis can also have tremendous potential benefits to breeding programs. Seventy four lines of 30 species of Poa were selected from National Plant Germplasm System and evaluated for the presence of apomixis with a seed screening technique using flow cytometry. Forty to 60 seeds were chopped in nuclei extraction buffer, filtered to tubes, stained, and analyzed with a Partec PA-II.  The majority of the species (approximately 2/3rds) are apomictic, but significant numbers are sexual. Several (at least 6) of the apomictic lines are not solely apomictic, and have significant amounts of sexual reproduction as well.