Sex determination in the dioecious Melandrium
Melandrium album (2n=24), a dioecious species with heteromorphic sex chromosomes (XY, males and XX, females), has a strong genetic commitment for sex determination. We report here a procedure for obtaining haploid plants from cultured anthers and show that genotype, pollen stage, cold treatment and certain culture media components are essential for a reproducible yield of embryos. Our procedure increased the number of responsive anthers and not the number of responsive microspores per anther. Most likely, our experimental system allows the recovery of competent microspores, and this on a medium containing either an auxin or a cytokinin. All of the 36 anther-derived plants tested expressed a female phenotypic sex instead of the theoretical one male one female ratio. When analysed cytologically, the plants exhibited the corresponding female genetic sex (one or two X chromosomes).
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