Key message: High-resolution genetic linkage mapping and BAC physical mapping narrowed the fertility restorer locusRfm1in barley to a sub-centimorgan genetic interval and a 208-kb physical interval.
Abstract: Rfm1 restores the fertility of msm1 and msm2 male-sterile cytoplasms in barley. The fertility restoration gene is located on the short arm of chromosome 6H (6HS), and we pursued a positional cloning of this gene. Starting from a previous result that has delimited Rfm1 within a 10.8 cM region on 6HS, we developed novel CAPS and SSR markers tightly linked to the gene in barley using the sequence information from the syntenic region of rice and barley genome assemblies. Next, we performed fine mapping of the Rfm1 locus. To isolate recombinants, we surveyed 3,638 F2 plants derived from a cross between the CMS strain and the Rf strain with adjacent markers (NAS2090 and NAS1080). This analysis identified 175 recombinant plants from the F2 population to build a high-resolution map with nine markers tightly linked to the Rfm1 locus. Rfm1 was located within the 0.14 cM region delimited by two markers (NAS9113 and NAS9200). Using these flanking markers as well as marker cosegregating with Rfm1 (NAS9133), we screened the BAC libraries of the cultivar Morex, an rfm1 carrier. We isolated 11 BAC clones and constructed a BAC physical map using their fingerprints. Finally, we delimited the Rfm1 locus encompassing the rfm1 allele on a 208-kb contig composed of three minimally overlapping BAC clones. This precise localization of the Rfm1 locus in the barley genome is expected to greatly accelerate the future map-based cloning of the Rfm1 gene by sequence analysis and its genetic transformation for the complementation of cytoplasmic male-sterile plants.