Hop (Humulus lupulus L.) is an important crop worldwide, known as the main flavoring ingredient in beer. The diversifying brewing industry demands variation in flavors, superior process properties, and sustainable agronomics, which are the focus of advanced molecular breeding efforts in hops. Hop breeders have been limited in their ability to create strains with desirable traits, however, because of the unusual and unpredictable inheritance patterns and associated non-Mendelian genetic marker segregation. Cytogenetic analysis of meiotic chromosome behavior has also revealed conspicuous and prevalent occurrences of multiple, atypical, non-disomic chromosome complexes, including those involving autosomes in late prophase. To explore the role of meiosis in segregation distortion, we undertook 3D cytogenetic analysis of hop pollen mother cells stained with DAPI and FISH. We used telomere FISH to demonstrate that hop exhibits a normal telomere clustering bouquet. We also identified and characterized a new sub-terminal 180 bp satellite DNA tandem repeat family called HSR0, located proximal to telomeres. Highly variable 5S rDNA FISH patterns within and between plants, together with the detection of anaphase chromosome bridges, reflect extensive departures from normal disomic signal composition and distribution. Subsequent FACS analysis revealed variable DNA content in a cultivated pedigree. Together, these findings implicate multiple phenomena, including aneuploidy, segmental aneuploidy, or chromosome rearrangements, as contributing factors to segregation distortion in hop.
Journal: Frontiers in plant science