Possible involvement of genes on the Q chromosome of Nicotiana tabacum in expression of hybrid lethality and programmed cell death during interspecific hybridization to Nicotiana debneyi

Tezuka, T.; Kuboyama, T.; Matsuda, T.; Marubashi, W.

Planta 226(3): 753-764


ISSN/ISBN: 0032-0935
PMID: 17443342
DOI: 10.2307/23389713
Accession: 016706383

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Hybrid seedlings from the cross between Nicotiana tabacum, an allotetraploid composed of S and T subgenomes, and N. debneyi die at the cotyledonary stage. This lethality involves programmed cell death (PCD). We carried out reciprocal crosses between the two progenitors of N. tabacum, N. sylvestris and N. tomentosiformis, and N. debneyi to reveal whether only the S subgenome in N. tabacum is related to hybrid lethality. Hybrid seedlings from reciprocal crosses between N. sylvestris and N. debneyi showed lethal characteristics identical to those from the cross between N. tabacum and N. debneyi. Conversely, hybrid seedlings from reciprocal crosses between N. tomentosiformis and N. debneyi were viable. Furthermore, hallmarks of PCD were observed in hybrid seedlings from the cross N. debneyi x N. sylvestris, but not in hybrid seedlings from the cross N. debneyi x N. tomentosiformis. We also carried out crosses between monosomic lines of N. tabacum lacking the Q chromosome and N. debneyi. Using Q-chromosome-specific DNA markers, hybrid seedlings were divided into two groups, hybrids possessing the Q chromosome and hybrids lacking the Q chromosome. Hybrids possessing the Q chromosome died with characteristics of PCD. However, hybrids lacking the Q chromosome were viable and PCD did not occur. From these results, we concluded that the Q chromosome belonging to the S subgenome of N. tabacum encodes gene(s) leading to hybrid lethality in the cross N. tabacum x N. debneyi.