Complex genetic nature of sex-independent transmission ratio distortion in Asian rice species: the involvement of unlinked modifiers and sex-specific mechanisms

Koide, YS, Y.; Ikenaga, M.; Sawamura, N.; Matsubara, K.; Onishi, K.; Kanazawa, A.; Sano, Y.,  Heredity,  108:242-247. 2012.

Transmission ratio distortion (TRD), in which one allele is transmitted more frequently than the opposite allele, is presumed to act as a driving force in the emergence of a reproductive barrier. TRD acting in a sex-specific manner has been frequently observed in interspecific and intraspecific hybrids across a broad range of organisms. In contrast, sex-independent TRD (SITRD), which results from preferential transmission of one of the two alleles in the heterozygote through both sexes, has been detected in only a few plant species. We previously reported an S-6 locus-mediated SITRD, in which the S-6 allele from an Asian wild rice strain (Oryza rufipogon) was transmitted more frequently than the S-6(a) allele from an Asian cultivated rice strain (O. sativa) through both male and female gametes in heterozygous plants. Here, we report on the effect of a difference in genetic background on S-6 locus-mediated SITRD, based on the analysis using near-isogenic lines and the original wild strain as a parental strain for crossing. We found that the degree of TRD through the male gametes varied depending on the genetic background of the female (pistil) plants. Despite the occurrence of TRD through both male and female gametes, abnormality was detected in ovules, but not in pollen grains, in the heterozygote. These results suggest the involvement of unlinked modifiers and developmentally distinct, sex-specific genetic mechanisms in S-6 locus-mediated SITRD, raising the possibility that SITRD driven by a single locus may be affected by multiple genetic factors harbored in natural populations. Heredity (2012) 108, 242-247; doi:10.1038/hdy.2011.64; published online 27 July 2011