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Male sterility applications in Allium

Cebeci, E., Hanci, F.
Acta horticulturae 2016 no.1145 pp. 51-56
Allium cepa, breeding programs, chives, cross pollination, cultivars, economic feasibility, flowers, heterozygosity, hybrids, leeks, male fertility, males, onions, open pollination, pollen, pollinators, self-pollination
The subgenus Allium section Allium includes economically important species such as onion (Allium cepa L.), leek (A. ampeloprasum var. porrum L.) and chives (A. schoenoprasum L.). These species have a biennial habit and many cultivars are open pollinated; and high levels of heterozygosity must be maintained. The Allium umbel consists of a few, to hundreds of perfect flowers of per umbel. These flowers are too small for synthetic pollination studies and due to the large-scale emasculation it is not practical so the development of hybrid cultivars is economically feasible using systems of cytoplasmic-genic male sterility (CMS). Male sterile plants, which have not got any fertile pollen, incapable of self-pollination so any seed produced must result from cross-pollination. Allium hybrid production requires the development of male-sterile, maintainer and pollinator lines with good specific combination ability. This review outlines the using male sterility feature in hybrid breeding program for Alliums especially for onions.