, Volume 9, Issue 4, pp 359-370

A rapid means of sex identification inSilene latifolia by use of flow cytometry

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Sex identification in dioecious plants using nonflowering material would have broad applications in both basic and applied research. We present a method using flow cytometry for diagnosing the sex of the dioecious speciesSilene latifolia Poiret (Caryophyllaceae) by means of sexual differences in nuclear DNA content and base-pair composition. Males have a significantly larger genome, attributable to the known sex-chromosome heteromorphism. Males and females also differ in the AT/GC composition, attributable to differences in non-recombining portions of the sex chromosomes. The two measures enable assignment of individuals to sex with a combined error rate of 9%. These results forS. latifolia indicate useful directions for future research into sex diagnostics for other dioecious species.