Research Article

Sequence Characterized Amplified Regions Linked with Apomictic Mode of Reproduction in Four Different Apomictic Cenchrus Species  

Suresh Kumar1,2 , Sheena Saxena1
1 Division of Crop Improvement, Indian Grassland and Fodder Research Institute, Jhansi, 284003, India
2 Division of Biochemistry, Indian Agricultural Research Institute, New Delhi, 110012, India
Author    Correspondence author
Molecular Plant Breeding, 2016, Vol. 7, No. 8   doi: 10.5376/mpb.2016.07.0008
Received: 16 Oct., 2015    Accepted: 30 Nov., 2015    Published: 06 Jan., 2016
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This is an open access article published under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Preferred citation for this article:

Suresh Kumar, and Sheena Saxena, 2016, Sequence characterized amplified regions linked with apomictic mode of reproduction in four different apomictic Cenchrus species, Molecular Plant Breeding, 7(08): 1-14 (doi: 10.5376/mpb.2016.07.0008)


The genus Cenchrus comprises tropical and sub-tropical forage grasses, many of which reproduce by aposporous apomixis. This mode of reproduction hampers genetic improvement of the species through conventional breeding; however, it may facilitate the fixing of heterosis in a hybrid. Apomixis can be deployed in plant breeding to maintain hybrid vigour over the generations, thereby accelerating the breeding process. Markers for apospory have been identified in grasses, but we have identified conserved genomic regions and apomixis-specific AFLP markers in eight Cenchrus spp. and converted them into sequence characterised amplified regions (SCARs). Seventeen of 94 identified polymorphic AFLP markers were located in the apospory-specific genomic region and were converted into SCAR markers. Only four (23.5%) were successfully converted into SCARs linked with an apomictic mode of reproduction in Cenchrus spp. The SCAR markers were validated in an F2 population of C. ciliaris consisting of 48 apomictic and 38 sexual individuals. The SCARs were conserved across the four apomictic Cenchrus spp. with >98% sequence homology. In silico mapping of the SCARs based on sequence homology indicated synteny with segments of chromosome 12 of rice and chromosome 5 of maize. These markers would be very useful for genetic/molecular analyses of apomixis, comparative mapping studies and marker-assisted breeding of Cenchrus.

AFLP; apomixis; Cenchrus ciliaris; molecular marker; SCAR; sexual reproduction
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