Author:Muhammad Zafar Iqbal, Mingjun Cheng, Yuegui Su, ang Li, Weiming Jiang, Huaxiong Li, Yanli Zhao, Xiaodong Wen, Lei Zhang, Asif Ali, Tingzhao Rong, Qilin Tang
Main conclusion Tripsacum dactyloides is closely related to Zea mays since Zea perennis and the MTP tri- species hybrid have four possible reproductive modes.Eastern gamagrass (Tripsacum dactyloides L.) and tetraploid perennial teosinte (Zea perennis) are well known to possess genes conferring resistance against biotic and abiotic stresses as well as adaptation to flood and aluminum toxic soils. However, plant breeders have been hampered to utilize these and other beneficial traits for maize improvement due to sterility in their hybrids. By crossing a tetraploid maize-inbred line × T. dactyloides, a female fertile hybrid was produced that was crossed with Z. perennis to yield a tri-genomic female fertile hybrid, which was backcrossed with diploid maize to produce BC 1 and BC 2 . The tri-genomic hybrid provided a new way to transfer genetic material from both species into maize by utilizing conventional plant breeding methods. On the basis of cytogenetic observations using multi-color genomic in situ hybridization, the progenies were classified into four groups, in which chromosomes could be scaled both up and down with ease to produce material for varying breeding and genetic purposes via apomixis or sexual reproduction. In the present study, pathways were found to recover maize and to obtain specific translocations as well as a speedy recovery of the T. dactyloides–maize addition line in a second backcross generation. However, phenotypes of the recovered maize were in most cases far from maize as a result of genetic load from T. dactyloides and Z. perennis, and could not be directly used as a maize-inbred line but could serve as an intermediate material for maize improvement. A series of hybrids was produced (having varying chromosome number, constitution, and translocations) with agronomic traits from all three parental species.The present study provides an application of overcoming the initial interspecific barriers among these species. Moreover, T.dactyloides is closely related to Z. mays L. ssp. mays since Z. perennis and the MTP tri- species hybrid have four possible reproductive modes.