- NATURE PUBLISHING GROUP
Spinach (Spinacia oleracea L.) is widely known to be dioecious. However, monoecious plants can also occur in this species. Sex expression in dioecious spinach plants is controlled by a single gene pair termed X and Y. Our previous study showed that a single, incompletely dominant gene, which controls the monoecious condition in spinach line 03-336, should be allelic or linked to X/Y. Here, we developed 19 AFLP markers closely linked to the monoecious gene. The AFLP markers were mapped to a 38.2-CM chromosomal region that included the monoecious gene, which is bracketed between flanking markers with a distance of 7.1 CM. The four AFLP markers developed in our studies were converted into sequence-characterized amplified region (SCAR) markers, which are linked to both the monoecious gene and Y and are common to both populations segregating for the genes. Linkage analysis using the SCAR markers suggested that the monoecious gene (M) and Y are located in different intervals, between different marker pairs. Analysis of populations segregating for both M and Y also directly demonstrates linkage of the genes at a distance of similar to 12 CM. The data presented in this study may be useful for breeding dioecious and highly male monoecious lines utilized as the pollen parents for hybrid seed production, as well as for studies of the evolutionary history of sexual systems in this species, and can provide a molecular basis for positional cloning of the sex-determining genes.
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