, Volume 102, Issue 1, pp 104-110

Flow cytometric evidence for endopolyploidy in seedlings of some Brassica species

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Flow cytometric analysis of the nuclear DNA contents of somatic tissues from seedlings of Brassica rapa L. and B. oleracea L. revealed extensive endoreduplication, resulting in tissues that contain cells with multiple ploidy levels (also called ’endopolyploidy’). Multiples of the haploid nuclear genome complement (1C) corresponding to 2C, 4C, 8C, 16C, 32C and 64C were observed in Brassica rapa, while B. oleracea exhibited a mixture of cells with five ploidy levels, 2C, 4C, 8C, 16C and 32C. The distribution of cells with the different ploidy levels was tissue-specific and characteristic of the stage of development. Multiploidy was not found in the embryos of dry seeds. Rapid endoreduplication occurred during seedling development. It is most probable that multiploidy is, if not a general feature, at least very common in Brassica species. The physiological and genetic implications of this original feature are discussed.

Received: 17 March 2000 / Accepted: 17 April 2000