Journal Article

Chromosome elimination, addition and introgression in intertribal partial hybrids between <i>Brassica rapa</i> and <i>Isatis indigotica</i>

Yuqin Tu, Jian Sun, Xianhong Ge and Zaiyun Li

in Annals of Botany

Published on behalf of The Annals of Botany Company

Volume 103, issue 7, pages 1039-1048
Published in print May 2009 | ISSN: 0305-7364
Published online March 2009 | e-ISSN: 1095-8290 | DOI:
Chromosome elimination, addition and introgression in intertribal partial hybrids between Brassica rapa and Isatis indigotica

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  • Ecology and Conservation
  • Evolutionary Biology
  • Plant Sciences and Forestry


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Background and Aims

Partial hybrids with female-parent-type phenotypes and chromosome numbers but altered genomic compositions have been reported in wide crosses of several plants. In order to introgress desirable genes from a wild relative, Isatis indigotica (a dye and medicinal plant; 2n = 14), into Brassica crops, intertribal sexual hybridizations were carried out with B. rapa (2n = 20), and the resulting hybrids and their progenies were characterized.


Using genomic in situ hybridization (GISH) and amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP), chromosomal/genomic components of the hybrids and their progenies were analysed.

Key Results

Many hybrid plants were obtained from the mature seeds harvested from the B. rapa × I. indigotica cross, and these exhibited different morphological traits. However, the majority of them did not survive and only three plants grew to maturity. These three hybrids showed poor growth and much smaller stature than the two parents, but had some morphological traits and chemical composition of I. indigotica. One plant had 2n = 10, the haploid chromosome number of B. rapa, and was absolutely sterile. The other two plants had 20 and 22 somatic chromosomes and were male sterile but produced seeds following pollinations with B. rapa. All back-cross progenies over several generations maintained a B. rapa-type phenotype and also displayed some variations in morphological characters and fatty acid compositions. They were all 2n = 20 and showed good seed-set. The hybrid with 2n = 22 produced some progeny plants with 2n = 21 and 2n = 22. GISH detected two chromosomes of I. indigotica in the hybrid with 2n = 22 but none in the one with 2n = 20. AFLP bands specific for I. indigotica, novel for two parents or absent in B. rapa, were detected in the two hybrids and their progenies. These progeny plants were novel B. rapa types with an altered genomic constitution or alien additions.


Complete or partial chromosome elimination and diploidization with genomic rearrangements were considered to lead to the formation of partial hybrids in this cross.

Keywords: Brassica rapa; Isatis indigotica; intertribal hybridization; partial hybrids; chromosome elimination; alien addition; introgression; genomic in situ hybridization (GISH); amplified fragments length polymorphism (AFLP)

Journal Article.  6364 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Ecology and Conservation ; Evolutionary Biology ; Plant Sciences and Forestry

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