The X chromosome is necessary for somatic development in the dioecious Silene latifolia: Cytogenetic and molecular evidence and sequencing of a haploid genome

Soukupova, M., Nevrtalova, E., Čížková, J., Vogel, I., Cegan, R., Hobza, R., Vyskot, B.

Keywords: Anther culture, Cytometry, Dihaploids, Genome sequencing, Haploid female plants, Sex chromosomes, Silene latifolia
Abstract: Silene latifolia (or white campion) possesses a well-established sex determination system with a dominant Y chromosome in males (the mammalian type). The heteromorphic sex chromosomes X and Y in S. latifolia largely stopped recombination; thus, we can expect a gradual genetic degeneration of the Y chromosome. It is well proven that neither diploid nor polyploid S. latifolia sporophytes can survive without at least one X, so the only life stage possessing the Y as the sole sex chromosome is the male gametophyte (pollen tube), while the female gametophyte seems to be X-dependent. Previous studies on anther-derived plants of this species showed that the obtained plants (largely haploid or dihaploid) were phenotypically and cytologically female. In this paper, we provide molecular evidence for the inviability of plants lacking the X chromosome. Using sex-specific PCR primers, we show that all plantlets and plants derived from anther cultures are female. In studying anther-derived diploid females by sequencing of X-linked markers, we demonstrate that these plants are really homozygous dihaploids. A haploid regenerant plant was sequenced (8× genome coverage) using Illumina technology. Genome data are disposable in the EMBL database as a standard for full genome and X chromosome assembly in this model species. Homozygous dihaploids were back-crossed with males to yield a progeny useful for the study of the evolution of the Y chromosome.
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IEB authors: Jana Čížková, Roman Hobza