Nuclear genome size and chromosome analysis in Chenopodium quinoa and C. berlandieri subsp. nuttalliae
Cytogenetic characterization by karyotyping and determination of DNA content by flow cytometry of seven cultivated varieties of Chenopodium was performed. Chenopodium quinoa cultivar Barandales and C. berlandieri subsp. nuttalliae cultigens Huauzontle, Quelite and Chia roja showed 2n = 4x = 36, x = 9. Statistically insignificant genome size differences for studied varieties ranged from 2.96 pg/2C (1 Cx = 724 Mbp) in C. quinoa to 3.04 pg/2C (1 Cx = 743 Mbp) in Huauzontle. Karyotype analyses revealed the presence of nine groups of four metacentric chromosomes, including two pairs of chromosomes with satellites. The first pair of satellites was located on the largest pair of chromosomes and the second on a different pair of chromosomes in all accessions analyzed. Variation among varieties was evident in chromosome size, genome length (GL) and the position of satellites. Chia roja exhibited greatest GL (58.82 μm) and biggest chromosomes (2.04 μm). Huauzontle showed the smallest GL (45.02 μm) and shortest chromosomes (1.60 μm). Comparison of GL in studied taxa was statistically significant and allowed to define three groups according to the use given to these plants. These data indicate that they are small, very stable genomes in terms of DNA content, and they support the allotetraploid origin(s) of C. berlandieri subsp. nuttalliae and C. quinoa.