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Molecular cytogenetic analysis of monoecious hemp (Cannabis sativa L.) cultivars reveals its karyotype variations and sex chromosomes constitution

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Hemp (Cannabis sativa L., 2n = 20) is a dioecious plant. Sex expression is controlled by an X-to-autosome balance system consisting of the heteromorphic sex chromosomes XY for males and XX for females. Genetically monoecious hemp offers several agronomic advantages compared to the dioecious cultivars that are widely used in hemp cultivation. The male or female origin of monoecious maternal plants is unknown. Additionally, the sex chromosome composition of monoecious hemp forms remains unknown. In this study, we examine the sex chromosome makeup in monoecious hemp using a cytogenetic approach. Eight monoecious and two dioecious cultivars were used. The DNA of 210 monoecious plants was used for PCR analysis with the male-associated markers MADC2 and SCAR323. All monoecious plants showed female amplification patterns. Fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) with the subtelomeric CS-1 probe to chromosomes plates and karyotyping revealed a lack of Y chromosome and presence of XX sex chromosomes in monoecious cultivars with the chromosome number 2n = 20. There was a high level of intra- and intercultivar karyotype variation detected. The results of this study can be used for further analysis of the genetic basis of sex expression in plants.

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We thank Dr I.V. Romanova for providing seeds of monoecious cultivars ‘Gentus’, ‘Diana’, ‘Ingreda’, ‘Margo’, ‘Tzivilsky Skorospeliy’ and ‘Rigs’. The reported study was partially supported by RFBR, research project #13-04-02116 and 15-04-06244.

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The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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Correspondence to Gennady I. Karlov.

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Razumova, O.V., Alexandrov, O.S., Divashuk, M.G. et al. Molecular cytogenetic analysis of monoecious hemp (Cannabis sativa L.) cultivars reveals its karyotype variations and sex chromosomes constitution. Protoplasma 253, 895–901 (2016).

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