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Chiasmata and variability in Lolium and Festuca populations

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There are significant differences in mean pollen mother cell chiasma frequencies between populations within Lolium perenne, L. multiflorum and Festuca pratensis. The differences are genotypically controlled. With low chiasma frequencies the chiasmata are distally located. With increasing chiasma frequency the frequency of chiasmata in interstitial segments increases. Shorter lived populations have higher chiasma frequencies than the more perennial. — The higher the chiasma frequency of a population the lower the phenotypic and genetic variance for characters under polygenic control, such as flowering time, and the less effective also is the response to selection for such characters. These observations are interpreted on the premise that high chiasma frequencies are instrumental in the breaking up of supergene sequences in interstitial chromosome segments.

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Rees, H., Dale, P.J. Chiasmata and variability in Lolium and Festuca populations. Chromosoma 47, 335–351 (1974).

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