Hybridity has a greater effect than paternal genome dosage on heterosis in sugar beet (beta vulgaris)
Hallahan, Brendan F.
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Hallahan, Brendan F. Fernandez-Tendero, Eva; Fort, Antoine; Ryder, Peter; Dupouy, Gilles; Deletre, Marc; Curley, Edna; Brychkova, Galina; Schulz, Britta; Spillane, Charles (2018). Hybridity has a greater effect than paternal genome dosage on heterosis in sugar beet (beta vulgaris). BMC Plant Biology 18 ,
Background: The phenomenon of heterosis is critical to plant breeding and agricultural productivity. Heterosis occurs when F1 hybrid offspring display quantitative improvements in traits to levels that do not occur in the parents. Increasing the genome dosage (i.e. ploidy level) of F1 offspring can contribute to heterosis effects. Sugar beet (Beta vulgaris) provides a model for investigating the relative effects of genetic hybridity and genome dosage on heterosis. Sugar beet lines of different ploidy levels were crossed to generate diploid and triploid F1 offspring to investigate the effect of; (1) paternal genome dosage increase on F1 heterosis, and; (2) homozygous versus heterozygous tetraploid male parents on F1 triploid heterosis. A range of traits of agronomic and commercial importance were analyzed for the extent of heterosis effects observed in the F1 offspring. Results: Comparisons of parental lines to diploid (EA, EB) and triploid (EAA, EBB) F1 hybrids for total yield, root yield, and sugar yield indicated that there was no effect of paternal genome dosage increases on heterosis levels, indicating that hybridity is the main contributor to the heterosis levels observed. For all traits measured (apart from seed viability), F1 triploid hybrids derived from heterozygous tetraploid male parents displayed equivalent levels of heterosis as F1 triploid hybrids generated with homozygous tetraploid male parents, suggesting that heterosis gains in F1 triploids do not arise by simply increasing the extent of multi-locus heterozygosity in sugar beet F1 offspring. Conclusions: Overall, our study indicates that; (1) increasing the paternal genome dosage does not enhance heterosis in F1 hybrids, and; (2) increasing multi-locus heterozygosity using highly heterozygous paternal genomes to generate F1 triploid hybrids does not enhance heterosis. Our findings have implications for the design of future F1 hybrid improvement programs for sugar beet.