Cytology and fertility of viable hybrids of Nicotiana tabacum L. cv. TB-566 with N. alata Link et Otto
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A vigorous hybrid (N. tabacum cv. TB-566 tetra ? N. alata) ? N. alata was obtained by backcrossing a partly viable sesquidiploid hybrid N. tabacum cv. TB-566 tetra ? N. alata to N. alata. The hybrid was a 35-chromosome near-amphihaploid with a pair of N. alata chromosomes in disomic condition. It was completely self- and cross-sterile and formed from 7 to 8 bivalents in pollen mother cells. By using stem pith culture, polyploidized regenerants were obtained from the 35-chromosome hybrid with somatic chromosome numbers from 65 to 70. These regenerants showed fairly regular meiosis with the number of bivalents in pollen mother cells ranging from 27.3 to 30.4. Irregularities in meiosis included a high number of univalents, aberrant tetrads, and a high frequency of micronuclei. The percentage of acetocarmine-stainable pollen ranged from 22.1 to 78.4. A 66-chromosome regenerant showed fairly regular meiosis and was self-fertile but could not be backcrossed to N. tabacum. This barrier seems to be caused by genic imbalance rather than irregularities of meiotic divisions. Hence transfer programs based on the introgression of entire linkage groups (sexual and somatic hybridization) seem to be of little use in the case of that species.
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Dorota Laskowska, Institute of Soil Science and Plant Cultivation, Special Crops Department, Czartoryskich 8, 24-100 Pulawy, Poland