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A review of the progress in anther culture of forage grasses, is presented. Green plants have been recovered from a number of Lolium and Festuca species and from Phleum pratense and Dactylis glomerata. Until recently, all research could only be described as pioneer due to strong dependency on genotype for culture success and high frequency of albinism. However, improved understanding of the requirements for successful androgenesis now makes possible for the first time the commercial exploitation of anther culture of forage grass species.

Lolium multiflorum x Festuca arundinacea (2n = 5x = 35) F(1) hybrids and L. multiflorum x F. pratensis (2n = 4x = 28) F(8) hybrids were highly amenable to anther culture. In both cases, rare androgenic genotypes were recovered that determine resistance to abiotic stresses, in some cases in excess of that found in the parent species and parental hybrid. Unfortunately the Lolium multiflorum x Festuca arundinacea androgenic plants were aneupolyhaploids, genetically unbalanced, and sterile and provided no further opportunities for development in plant breeding programmes. On the other hand, during development of L. multiflorum x F. pratensis (2n = 4x = 28) F(8) hybrids, considerable genome restructuring had taken place and had given rise to opportunities for more balanced chromosome disjunction and gamete composition. The more euploid gametes gave rise to androgenic Festulolium dihaploid plants with good natural vigour and stress resistance. Furthermore, ten percent of plants were fertile and provide exciting opportunities for future incorporation in breeding programmes. .

Additional information

Authors: BOHANEC B (EDITOR), Centre for Plant Biotechnology and Breeding, Biotechnical faculty. Jamnikarjeva 101. SLO-1000 Ljubljana (HR)
Bibliographic Reference: EUR 19691 EN (2001),pp.277. COST Action 824. Euro: Free of charge
Availability: Available from Documentation service OF DG Research. Fax: +32-2-2958220
ISBN: ISBN: 92-894-0225-3
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