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Sexual modification of female spinach seeds (Spinacia oleracea L.) by irradiation with ion particles

Abstract

The female seeds of a spinach plant (Spinacia orelacea L.) were exposed to He (12.5 MeV/n) and C (18.3 MeV/n) ions in order to investigate the effects of ion particles on sex expression. He ions did not affect germination rates or flowering at doses up to 50 Gy. C ions did not affect germination rates or flowering at doses up to 15 Gy, but a dose of 25 Gy resulted in many plants with morphological aberrations. When unexposed female plants were grown without cross-fertilization for 10 weeks after sowing, 5.6–14.3% of the plants produced anthers from female flowers. These sex-modified plants could self-pollinate and form seeds, which expressed only female organs. Conversely, gynomonoecious plants were induced from these female seeds by exposure to He ions (5–50 Gy) and C ions (5–25 Gy) without any difference in the rates of flowered progeny. Moreover, andromonoecious plants were induced from female seeds by exposure to He ions at 50 Gy. These results suggest that the sex of a spinach plant is expressed as a flexible phenotype, converging from female to gyno- and andromonoecy after exposure to ion particles.

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Fig. 1A, B.
Fig. 2A–C.

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Acknowledgements

The authors would like to thank Yoshihiro Hase (JAERI, Japan) for calculating the physical properties of the ions. We would also like to thank Kazuhiko Shimono (Kyoto Prefectural University, Japan) for his help with the irradiation experiments.

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Correspondence to F. Komai.

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Communicated by G.C. Phillips

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Komai, F., Shikazono, N. & Tanaka, A. Sexual modification of female spinach seeds (Spinacia oleracea L.) by irradiation with ion particles. Plant Cell Rep 21, 713–717 (2003). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00299-003-0592-y

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s00299-003-0592-y

Keywords

  • Female seed
  • Ion particles
  • Sex expression
  • Spinacia oleracea