Cytological investigation revealed complete asynapsis during microsporogenesis in 2 wild accessions of Paspalum jesuiticum collected in distinct Brazilian regions. Both accessions were hexaploid (2n = 6x = 60) and 60 univalents could be counted at diakinesis. In this phase, the majority of meiocytes exhibited univalents with both chromatids. After alignment at the metaphase plate, the chromatids segregated to the poles. Only 1 meiotic division (equational) occurred, and after cytokinesis, a dyad with 2n microspores was formed.
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.
Several interspecific Passiflora hybrids are produced in the northern hemisphere for the ornamental plant market. In Brazil, production of passion flower hybrids is limited to the introgression of genes into the main cultivated species, yellow passion fruit, to be used as rootstocks. Confirmation of hybridization in the initial developmental stage is important for breeding perennial and sub-perennial plants, such as passion flowers, reducing time and costs in plant stock maintenance.
Microsporogenesis was analyzed in five accessions of Brachiaria dictyoneura presenting x = 6 as the basic chromosome number. All accessions were tetraploid (2n = 4x = 24) with chromosome pairing in bi-, tri-, and quadrivalents. The recorded meiotic abnormalities were those typical of polyploids, including precocious chromosome migration to the poles, laggard chromosomes, and micronucleus formation. The frequency of these abnormalities, however, was lower than those reported for other polyploid accessions previously analyzed for other Brachiaria species.
Apomixis means seed formation without fertilization. In cassava (Manihot esculenta) it is an alternative to reproduction by cuttings, which normally transmits pathogens and leads to an accumulation of viral and bacterial diseases. Apomixis also assures preservation of heterosis and avoids genetic segregation. It occurs in wild relatives of cassava and has been transferred successfully from Manihot glaziovii and M. neusana.
About 98 species of Manihot are known. All of them are native to the New World and are concentrated in four regions in Brazil and Central America. All the Manihot species so far examined have 2n = 36 chromosomes. Interspecific hybrids between cassava and its wild relatives show relatively normal meiosis, and further generations can be obtained. Electrophoresis shows affinity among wild species of different sections, and between some of them and cassava. Both polyploidy and apomixis may have contributed to speciation in this genus.