Neofunctionalisation of the Sli gene leads to self-compatibility and facilitates precision breeding in potato

Ernst Jan Eggers, Ate van der Burgt, Sjaak A.W. van Heusden, Michiel E. de Vries, Richard G.F. Visser, Christian W.B. Bachem*, Pim Lindhout

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Genetic gain in potato is hampered by the heterozygous tetraploid genome of cultivated potato. Converting potato into a diploid inbred-line based F1-hybrid crop provides a promising route towards increased genetic gain. The introduction of a dominant S-locus inhibitor (Sli) gene into diploid potato germplasm allows efficient generation of self-fertilized seeds and thus the development of potato inbred lines. Little is known about the structure and function of the Sli locus. Here we describe the mapping of Sli to a 12.6 kb interval on chromosome 12 using a recombinant screen approach. One of two candidate genes present in this interval shows a unique sequence that is exclusively present in self-compatible lines. We describe an expression vector that converts self-incompatible genotypes into self-compatible and a CRISPR-Cas9 vector that converts SC genotypes into SI. The Sli gene encodes an F-box protein that is specifically expressed in pollen from self-compatible plants. A 533 bp insertion in the promotor of that gene leads to a gain of function mutation, which overcomes self-pollen rejection.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4141
JournalNature Communications
Volume12
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 6 Jul 2021

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