Impact of cytomixis on meiosis, pollen viability and pollen size in wild populations of Himalayan poppy (Meconopsis aculeata Royle).

Department of Botany, Punjabi University, Patiala, India.
Journal of Biosciences (Impact Factor: 1.76). 10/2008; 33(3):371-80. DOI: 10.1007/s12038-008-0057-0
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT We report the occurrence of cytomixis in wild populations of Himalayan poppy (Meconopsis aculeata Royle),which is considered to be an important and threatened medicinal plant growing in the high hills of the Himalayas. The impact of cytomixis on meiotic behaviour, reduced pollen viability and heterogeneous-sized pollen grains was also studied. Cytological studies in the seven wild populations from the high hills of Himachal Pradesh revealed that all the Himalayan populations exist uniformly at the tetraploid level (2n=56) on x=14. The phenomenon of chromatin transfer among the proximate pollen mother cells (PMCs) in six populations caused various meiotic abnormalities. Chromatin transfer also resulted in the formation of coenocytes, aneuploid, polyploid and anucleated PMCs. Among individuals that showed chromatin transfer, chromosome stickiness and interbivalent connections were frequently observed in some PMCs. The phenomenon of cytomixis in the species seems to be directly under genetic control; it affects the meiotic course considerably and results in reduced pollen viability.

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