Traditionally, hybrid seeds are produced by crossing selected inbred lines. Here we provide a proof of concept for reverse breeding, a new approach that simplifies meiosis such that homozygous parental lines can be generated from a vigorous hybrid individual. We silenced DMC1, which encodes the meiotic recombination protein DISRUPTED MEIOTIC cDNA1, in hybrids of A. thaliana, so that non-recombined parental chromosomes segregate during meiosis. We then converted the resulting gametes into adult haploid plants, and subsequently into homozygous diploids, so that each contained half the genome of the original hybrid. From 36 homozygous lines, we selected 3 (out of 6) complementing parental pairs that allowed us to recreate the original hybrid by intercrossing. In addition, this approach resulted in a complete set of chromosome-substitution lines. Our method allows the selection of a single choice offspring from a segregating population and preservation of its heterozygous genotype by generating homozygous founder lines.
Via GMI Vienna