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Generation of Octaploid Switchgrass by Seedling Treatment with Mitotic Inhibitors

Yoon, Sangwoong, Aucar, Sheyla, Hernlem, Bradley J., Edme, Serge, Palmer, Nathan, Sarath, Gautam, Mitchell, Robert, Blumwald, Eduardo, Tobias, Christian M .
BioEnergy research 2017 v.10 no.2 pp. 344-352
Panicum virgatum, aneuploidy, cultivars, cytotypes, fruits, genetic recombination, genome, leaves, microtubules, mitosis, octaploidy, seedlings, tetraploidy, tillering, vegetative growth, vigor
Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.) exists as multiple cytotypes with octaploid (8x) and tetraploid (4x) populations occupying distinct, overlapping ranges. These cytotypes tend to show differences in adaptation, yield potential, and other characters, but the specific result of whole-genome duplication is not clear and 8x and 4x switchgrass populations are reproductively isolated with limited genetic exchange. To create new opportunities for population improvement and to study the effects of whole genome duplication on switchgrass, seedling treatment of the tetraploid cultivar Liberty with microtubule inhibitors was used to generate an octaploid population. Resulting octaploids, tetraploids, and cytochimeras were resolved by intercrossing octaploid sectors to produce a population of 19 octaploid families. Fertility of octaploid sectors was significantly reduced relative to tetraploid sectors and caryopsis size significantly increased. Cell size was significantly increased which resulted in quantitative changes to leaf anatomy. During seedling and early vegetative growth stages, no differences in vigor or tillering ability were seen. This technique resulted in efficient genome doubling and was simple to perform. However, aneuploids were also identified with both larger and smaller than expected genome sizes.