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Occurrence of differential meiotic associations and additional chromosomes in the embryo-sac mother cells of Allium roylei Stearn

Journal of genetics 2011 v.90 no.1 pp. 45-49
Allium, anaphase, aneuploidy, chromosome number, chromosomes, diploidy, embryo sac, genes, meiosis, metaphase, polyploidy, prophase
A small population of complex translocation heterozygote plants of Allium roylei from the Bani region of Jammu Province was studied for meiosis in the female track. This study resulted in identification of two variants, having embryo-sac mother cells (EMCs) with more than 16 chromosomes. EMCs of the remaining plants invariably had diploid (2n = 16) chromosome complement. Female meiosis, in general, was found to be abnormal, with nearly 23% and 11% chromosomes associating as quadrivalents or trivalents at prophase I and at metaphase I, respectively. This was followed by irregular segregation of chromosomes at anaphase I. Amongst the variants; one had 38% EMCs with eight bivalents plus two small sized chromosomes. Their small size, dispensable nature and tendency to affect the pairing behaviour of normal complement are some of the features that latter chromosomes share with the B chromosomes. Seventeen to nineteen chromosomes were observed in 35% EMCs of other variant; the remaining cells had 16 chromosomes. Chromosomal behaviour in both kind of cells (euploid and aneuploid) was more or less similar. Unlike female meiocytes, male meiocytes analysed earlier of this strain always had 16 chromosomes which paired to form extremely complex associations involving 3–16 chromosomes. The most likely cause of this asynchrony with regards to number of chromosomes involved in multivalent formation seems to be interaction of genes controlling chiasma formation with the different physiological conditions of male and female meiocytes.