Genetic Analysis of Male Sterility and Self-Compatibility in Russian Dandelion (Taraxacum kok-saghyz)
Russian dandelion (Taraxacum kok-saghyz Rodin) produces high-quality natural rubber and can be developed as a new crop for Ontario, Canada and elsewhere. Domestication and genetic analysis of important traits are critical in a breeding program for this species. This study investigates two traits required for the production of hybrids: male sterility and self-compatibility (SC). Over generations of crossing, cytoplasmic male sterility (CMS), interacting with a dominant nuclear restorer of fertility allele, Rf, was identified. SC was also a dominant trait at a single locus. Penetrance of both CMS and SC was temperature dependent as increased temperature caused reversions to fertility and self-incompatibility. Continued breeding and selection for stable genotypes with CMS and SC may advance the introduction of hybrids and Russian dandelion as a new crop.