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Inheritance of rol-genes from Agrobacterium rhizogenes through two generations in Kalanchoë

Lütken, Henrik, Wallström, Sabá Victoria, Jensen, Erik Bjørn, Christensen, Brian, Müller, Renate
Euphytica 2012 v.188 no.3 pp. 397-407
Rhizobium rhizogenes, bacteria, branches, container-grown plants, crossing, cultivars, ethylene, flowering, flowers, inheritance (genetics), progeny, recombinant DNA, screening, self-pollination
Transformation of Kalanchoë blossfeldiana ‘Molly’ using the naturally occurring bacterium Agrobacterium rhizogenes is a non-GMO strategy to breed compact plants. In the present study, crosses resembling a commercial breeding strategy were made to determine if the improved ornamental quality observed in the T1 generation was inherited to the offspring. F1 lines were produced by crossing the commercial Kalanchoë cultivar ‘Sarah’ with a selected T1 line. Subsequently, F2 populations were produced by self-pollination of individual selected lines. The rol-genes were inherited to the progeny and the presence of rol-genes was confirmed in all F1 and many F2 plant lines exhibiting dwarfism. Screening of F1 and F2 plants showed that the rol-genes were inherited together. Besides decreased plant height, several F1 and F2 lines containing rol-genes exhibited changes in plant diameter, number of branches, flower diameter and time to first open flower and duration of flowering compared to the WT ‘Molly’. Furthermore, increased ethylene tolerance was observed in several lines containing rol-genes compared to the WT ‘Sarah’. Screening of three selected F2 populations derived from self-pollination of F1 lines containing rol-genes indicated a shift in distribution towards a lower mean plant height within the entire plant population compared to a control population of plants without rol-genes. Moreover, one of these F2 populations also exhibited earlier flowering compared to the control population. Compact potted plants and lines without delayed flowering and with improved ethylene tolerance were obtained and are valuable in commercial breeding programmes without using recombinant DNA technology.