Development of male sterile Eruca sativa carrying a Raphanus sativus/Brassica oleracea cybrid cytoplasm
Male sterile breeding lines of rocket salad (Eruca sativa) were developed by intergeneric hybridization with cytoplasmic male sterile (CMS) cauliflower (Brassica oleracea) followed by recurrent backcrosses. Five amphidiploid F1 plants (2n = 2x = 20, CE), achieved by manual crosses and embryo rescue, showed an intermediate habit. The plants were completely male sterile and lacked seed set after pollination with the Eruca parent. Allotetraploid F1-hybrid plants (4n = 4x = 40, CCEE) obtained after colchicine treatment were backcrossed six times with pollen of the Eruca parent to select alloplasmic diploid E. sativa lines. The hybrid status and the nucleo-cytoplasmic constellation were continuously controlled by RAPD and Southern analysis during subsequent backcrosses. The ploidy level was investigated by flow cytometry and chromosome analysis. Premeiotic (sporophytic) and postmeiotic (pollen abortive) defects during the anther development were observed in the alloplasmic E. sativus plants in comparison to the CMS-cauliflower donor. No further incompatibilities were noticed between the CMS-inducing cybrid cytoplasm and the E. sativa nuclear genome. The final alloplasmic E. sativa lines were diploid with 2n = 2x = 22 chromosomes and revealed complete male sterility and restored female fertility. Plant vigor and yield potential of the CMS-E. sativa BC5 lines were comparable to the parental E. sativus line. In conclusion, the employed cybrid—cytoplasm has been proven as a vital source of CMS for E. sativa. The developed lines are directly applicable for hybrid breeding of rocket salad.