Genebank accessions stored as seed populations require periodic rejuvenation in order to maintain sufficient numbers of viable seeds. During rejuvenation the genetic composition of accessions may be altered for a variety of reasons, of which variation in pollination rates between plants is the least understood. In the present study, a paternity exclusion analysis was performed on a rejuvenated accession of perennial ryegrass. In addition, flowering data of the 49 parental plants were collected during the flowering season. The aim of the study was to determine how accurate variation in pollination rates between plants can be predicted from data on the spatial and temporal distribution of pollen release. The parental population and a total of 551 offspring from 12 progeny arrays were genotyped by means of molecular analysis. Using 25 microsatellites, paternity was identified for 81.9% of the offspring, while remaining ambiguities were resolved by AFLP analysis, except in four cases. Within the total sample 9 cases of contamination were observed. Mating within the study population was clearly non-random, as 61.9% of the identified pollen donors were located within I m distance from the mother plant. Observed pollination rates were very well described by an inverse quadratic function of inter-plant distance between potential mating pairs. Incorporation of the recorded flowering data in the calculation of expected pollination rates improved the goodness of fit with observed values by only 0.77%. Suggestions to reduce the variance in paternal contributions were presented. However, contamination was considered more threatening to the genetic integrity of perennial ryegrass germplasm than variation in pollination rates between plants, and indicated the need for improved measures to avoid gene flow from other germplasm.
|Publication status||Published - 2006|
- genetically-modified grasses
- effective population-size
- ssr markers