Segregation distortion affected by transgenes in early generations of rice crop-weed hybrid progeny: Implications for assessing potential evolutionary impacts from transgene flow into wild relatives

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Abstract

The significant role of segregation distortion as a driving force of evolution has increasingly gained recognition worldwide. Segregation distortion of parental alleles is commonly reported in hybrid progeny between crops and wild relative species, which possibly influences the evolution potential of the hybrid progeny. Whether transgene introgression into wild and weedy populations through repeated hybridization causes changes of segregation distortion of parental alleles in hybrid progeny is an important question to be addressed to understand the long-term evolution potential of the populations that have received transgenes. To study the influence of a transgene on allelic segregation, we examined gene and genotype frequencies in transgenic and non-transgenic populations of F3 and F4 lineages derived from hybrids between transgenic insect-resistant rice (Bt/CpTI) and weedy rice, involving randomly selected 25 simple sequence repeat markers with polymorphisms between the two parents. We found that the transgenes can significantly alter the segregation distortion pattern in hybrid progeny, particularly the direction of segregation deviated to different parents. In transgenic F3 and F4 populations, there are approximately 64% and 77% simple sequence repeat loci, respectively, with alleles deviated significantly to the insect-resistant cultivated rice parent; whereas, in non-transgenic F3 and F4 populations, approximately 68% and 58% loci, respectively, deviated significantly to the weedy rice parent. Transgenes with strong selection advantages may have evolutionary impacts on hybrid progeny by changing their pattern of allelic segregation distortion after introgression from transgenic crops to wild relatives through hybridization.

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