Inter- and intra-genomal chromosome pairing in an interspecific hybrid and its bearing on basic chromosome number inPennisetum
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Meiosis in the interspecific hybrid betweenPennisetum typhoides (2n=14; genomeAA) andP. purpureum (2n=28; genomesA′A′BB) has been studied with particular reference to allosyndetic and autosyndetic pairing of chromosomes. Although up to nine bivalents occurred in the hybrid, never more than five were observed to be (heteromorphic)AA′ bivalents (range 1–5). It has been concluded thatA andA′ genomes are onlypartially homologous. It has further been inferred that the two genomes are evolutionarily related and could have arisen from a common progenitor withx=5 chromosomes or from related species withx=5 chromosomes.
Autosyndetic pairing of chromosomes within thetyphoides complement (A genome) and within theA′ genome ofpurpureum have been reported here for the first time. Intra-haploid pairing to a probable maximum of two bivalents within each of the three genomes of the hybrid, viz.,A, A′ andB, further suggestsx=5 as the phyletically basic number in the genusPennisetum. It has been inferred thatx=7 is a secondarily basic number, having been derived fromx=5. The occurrence of a species withn=5 inPennisetum, viz.,P. ramosum, substantiates this view. Further support in favour of this conclusion comes from the secondary association of bivalents in dipoidP. typhoides. Thus, the apparently diploid species,Pennisetum typhoides with2n=14 chromosomes is considered to be a “secondary diploid” having a secondarily balanced number ofx=7.
On the basis of the results obtained by the author is conjunction with the available evidence from the literature, it is suggested thatx=5 may be the original basic number for the entire grass family and seven, the most preponderant number in it, and other higher numbers derived from it subsequently during the course of evolution.
KeywordsRelated Species Chromosome Number Chromosome Pairing Interspecific Hybrid Diploid Species
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