The existence of neopolyploidy in prairie cordgrass (Spartina pectinata Link) has been documented. The neohexaploid was discovered coexisting with tetraploids in central Illinois, and has been reported to exhibit competitiveness in the natural environment. It is hypothesized that the natural tetraploid cytotype produced the hexaploid cytotype via production of unreduced gametes. Meiosis I chromosome pairing was observed in tetraploid (2n = 4x = 40), hexaploid (2n = 6x = 60), and octoploid (2n = 8x = 80) accessions and the percentage of meiotic abnormality was determined. Significant differences in meiotic abnormality exist between tetraploid, hexaploid, and octoploid cytotypes. An elevated incidence of abnormal, predominantly trivalent pairing in the neohexaploid suggests that it may possess homologous chromosomes in sets of three, in contrast to the tetraploid and octoploid cytotypes, which likely possess homologous chromosomes in sets of two. Abnormal chromosome pairing in the hexaploid may result in unequal allocation of chromosomes to daughter cells during later stages of meiosis. Chromosome pairing patterns in tetraploid, hexaploid, and octoploid cytotypes indicate genome compositions of AABB, AAABBB, and AABBA′A′B′B′, respectively.
Chromosomes Homology Polyploidy Meiosis
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This work was supported by funding from the North Central Regional Sun Grant Center at South Dakota State University through a grant provided by the United States Department of Agriculture (Award Number 2010-38502-21861) and by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Hatch project under ILLU-802-952.
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Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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