Indexed on: 31 Jan '15Published on: 31 Jan '15Published in: Euphytica
The high oleic (HO) trait in sunflower has rarely been studied in reciprocal crosses and in most of these cases maternal effects on the content of unsaturated fatty acids have not been identified. Two high oleic inbred lines with different origins and their reciprocal crosses were evaluated. Field trials were conducted in 2011 at the experimental fields of the University of Udine using a completely randomized scheme with two sowing dates. The two inbred lines responded differently to the same environmental conditions. Reciprocal hybrids and backcrosses showed a different oleic acid content in the first sowing date. Difference in reciprocal generation was due to recombinant types with a mid-oleic phenotype. Temperature seems to modify segregation ratio or, in other words, the phenotypic expression of some genes. Reciprocal hybrids and backcrosses were equal in the second sowing date. HO phenotype depends on three genetic factors: Pervenets allele, a second major gene (designated as Ols) and a combination of minor modifiers. Their phenotypic effect seems to be influenced by cytoplasm and temperature. Results from reciprocal segregating and backcrosses populations suggest that oleic acid percentage was affected by cytoplasm or by cytoplasm × nucleus interaction. The importance was determined of female parental line choices in breeding to obtain hybrids insensitive to environmental conditions and with a stable oleic acid content over 90 %. Cytoplasmic effects could be used in breeding programs to select hybrids with an OAC insensitive to environment.