Research Article

Microsporogenesis in Paspalum conspersum Schrad. (Virgata group) with different ploidy levels

Published: October 24, 2013
Genet. Mol. Res. 12 (4) : 4948-4957 DOI: 10.4238/2013.October.24.6

Abstract

Knowledge about the cytology and reproductive behavior of a species is indispensable for hybridization programs. This is especially true for species belonging to the genus Paspalum, among which apomixis and a wide range of ploidy levels are frequently found. Paspalum conspersum Schrad. is a robust and warm-season perennial bunchgrass native to South America. Previous studies have indicated that both tetraploid and hexaploid races exist in this species; however, only information related to tetraploids has been applied to another taxon. In this study, a cytological investigation in two Brazilian accessions collected in different regions revealed tetraploidy in the accession BRA-012823 (2n = 4x = 40), with chromosome pairing in bivalents and normal meiosis and tetrad formation, and pentaploidy (2n = 5x = 50) in the accession BRA-022748, which presented total asynapsis. In this latter accession, 50 univalents could be scored at diakinesis. After alignment at the metaphase plate, sister chromatids segregated to the poles. Only one meiotic division (equational) occurred, and after cytokinesis, 100% of the dyads that formed had 2n microspores. The meiotic behavior during microsporogenesis, which showed 10 delayed univalents to reach the metaphase plate, suggests that this accession is a recent natural hybrid constituted by a parental genome with 40 chromosomes and another with 10 chromosomes. The potential usage of these accessions in Paspalum breeding has been discussed.

Knowledge about the cytology and reproductive behavior of a species is indispensable for hybridization programs. This is especially true for species belonging to the genus Paspalum, among which apomixis and a wide range of ploidy levels are frequently found. Paspalum conspersum Schrad. is a robust and warm-season perennial bunchgrass native to South America. Previous studies have indicated that both tetraploid and hexaploid races exist in this species; however, only information related to tetraploids has been applied to another taxon. In this study, a cytological investigation in two Brazilian accessions collected in different regions revealed tetraploidy in the accession BRA-012823 (2n = 4x = 40), with chromosome pairing in bivalents and normal meiosis and tetrad formation, and pentaploidy (2n = 5x = 50) in the accession BRA-022748, which presented total asynapsis. In this latter accession, 50 univalents could be scored at diakinesis. After alignment at the metaphase plate, sister chromatids segregated to the poles. Only one meiotic division (equational) occurred, and after cytokinesis, 100% of the dyads that formed had 2n microspores. The meiotic behavior during microsporogenesis, which showed 10 delayed univalents to reach the metaphase plate, suggests that this accession is a recent natural hybrid constituted by a parental genome with 40 chromosomes and another with 10 chromosomes. The potential usage of these accessions in Paspalum breeding has been discussed.