Sexual Plant Reproduction

, Volume 9, Issue 3, pp 127–132

Chromosomal sex determination and heterochromatin structure in date palm

Authors

  • S. Siljak-Yakovlev
    • Laboratoire d'Evolution et Systématique Végetales, CNRS URA 1492Université Paris-Sud
  • M. Cerbah
    • Laboratoire d'Evolution et Systématique Végetales, CNRS URA 1492Université Paris-Sud
  • A. Sarr
    • Laboratoire d'Evolution et Systématique Végetales, CNRS URA 1492Université Paris-Sud
  • S. Benmalek
    • Laboratoire de BotaniqueCentre de Recherche Scientifique et Technologique sur les Régions Arides
  • N. Bounaga
    • Laboratoire de BotaniqueCentre de Recherche Scientifique et Technologique sur les Régions Arides
  • T. Coba de la Pena
    • Institut des Sciences Vegetales
    • Departamento de Recursos Naturais e Medio AmbienteUniversidade de Vigo
  • S. C. Brown
    • Institut des Sciences Vegetales
Original Paper

DOI: 10.1007/BF02221391

Cite this article as:
Siljak-Yakovlev, S., Cerbah, M., Sarr, A. et al. Sexual Plant Reprod (1996) 9: 127. doi:10.1007/BF02221391

Abstract

In the date palm, a dioecious mode (separate male and female individuals) and the late initial reproductive age (5–10 years) are major practical constraints for genetic improvement. Early selection on young seedlings could enhance breeding programmes and generate experimental male and female genetic stocks, but no cytogenetic protocol exists for sex determination in an immature date palm. Here we describe a cytological method based on chromomycin staining which demonstrates the occurrence of sexual chromosomes carrying distinctive nucleolar heterochromatin and thus offers, for the first time, the possibility of identifying male and female individuals by simple analysis of root meristems. This observation has been extended by in situ rDNA hybridization, confocal microscopy and dual-label flow cytometry of nuclei.

Key words

Sex chromosomesSex-differentiating chromocentresHeterochromatinIn situ hybridizationPhoenix dactylifera

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1996