Flow cytometric analysis of nuclear DNA content in Musa
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Nuclear genome size variation was studied in Musa acuminata (A genome), Musa balbisiana (B genome) and a range of triploid clones differing in genomic constitution (i.e. the relative number of A and B genomes). Nuclear DNA content was estimated by flow cytometry of nuclei stained by propidium iodide. The A and B genomes of Musa differ in size, the B genome being smaller by 12% on average. No variation in genome size was found among the accessions of M. balbisiana (average genome size 537 Mbp). Small, but statistically significant, variation was found among the subspecies and clones of M. acuminata (ranging from 591 to 615 Mbp). This difference may relate to the geographical origin of the individual accessions. Larger variation in genome size (8.8%) was found among the triploid Musa accessions (ranging from 559 to 613 Mbp). This variation may be due to different genomic constitutions as well as to differences in the size of their A genomes. It is proposed that a comparative analysis of genome size in diploids and triploids may be helpful in identifying putative diploid progenitors of cultivated triploid Musa clones. Statistical analysis of data on genome size resulted in a grouping which agreed fairly well with the generally accepted taxonomic classification of Musa.
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