In vitro induction and characterization of hexaploid Pennisetum × advena, an ornamental grass


Pennisetum × advena (purple fountain grass) is an ornamental grass with considerable commercial value. In vitro induction of hexaploids and evaluation of the morphological and anatomical traits in P. × advena were conducted in this study. Nine independent hexaploids were generated from calli, which was initiated from immature inflorescence tissue of triploid P. × advena, treated with 0.1% colchicine for 24 h. Their ploidy levels were first screened by flow cytometry and further identified by chromosome counting. Compared with the triploids, the hexaploids showed a significant delay in flowering, and reduction in plant height, the number of tillers and number of inflorescences per plant, leaf length and width, inflorescence diameter, and the number of florets per inflorescence, but an increase in floret fresh weight, and anther diameter and length. Pollen grains in the hexaploids were well developed, and their fertility was restored. The production of hexaploids of P. × advena by colchicine treatment, and assessment of their growth parameters and pollen fertility, provide important information for future breeding of P. × advena.

Key message

Nine independent hexaploids were generated from calli derived from immature inflorescence tissue of triploid Pennisetum × advena by a colchicine treatment, and their morphological and anatomical traits were evaluated.

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This research was funded by the Scientific and Technological Innovation Capacity Construction Special Funds of the Beijing Academy of Agriculture and Forestry (KJCX20180101 and KJCX20170110), and the Project of Science and Technology, Beijing (171100007217001). We thank Robert McKenzie, Ph.D., from Liwen Bianji, Edanz Group China (, for editing the English text of a draft of this manuscript.

Author information




JW and XF conceived and designed the research. YY generated hexaploid Pennisetum × advena by colchicine treatment and wrote the manuscript. YH and HL performed tissue culture, CH, WT, and HZ evaluated the growth characteristics of the hexaploid, KT, HW, and XY assisted with data analysis and writing the manuscript.

Corresponding authors

Correspondence to Xifeng Fan or Juying Wu.

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The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Additional information

Communicated by Alison M.R. Ferrie.

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Yue, Y., Fan, X., Hu, Y. et al. In vitro induction and characterization of hexaploid Pennisetum × advena, an ornamental grass. Plant Cell Tiss Organ Cult 142, 221–228 (2020).

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  • Pennisetum × advena
  • Polyploidization
  • Flow cytometry
  • Triploid
  • Hexaploid