Doubling the chromosome number of bahiagrass via tissue culture

Quesenberry, Kenneth H.; Dampier, Judith M.; Lee, Y. Y.; Smith, Rex L.; Acuña, Carlos
September 2010
Euphytica;Sep2010, Vol. 175 Issue 1, p43
Academic Journal
Crop improvement in bahiagrass ( Paspalum notatum Flüggé) is limited by apomixis in most natural tetraploids, however, diploid sexual types occur. Production of sexual tetraploids by chromosome doubling will allow hybridization with apomictic tetraploids. Diploid bahiagrass ( Paspalum notatum Flüggé) embryogenic callus tissue was exposed to three concentrations of three antimitotic chemical agents, colchicine, oryzalin and trifluralin. Callus was generated to plants and ploidy was evaluated by stomata size, mitotic chromosome counts, and flow cytometry. A total of 310 plants were verified as tetraploid of 1,432 plants that reached transplanting size. All treatments yielded 4 x plants. The mean percentage success over all treatments was 22%, with means of 31% for oryzalin, 24% for colchicine and 16% for trifluralin. The high rates of success indicate that all agents can be successfully used to double chromosome numbers in bahiagrass. The percentage of 4 x plants ranged from 9% (20 μM trifluralin) to 43% (20 μM oryzalin). Several treatments adversely affected regeneration. Mitotic chromosome counts are difficult and labor intensive in bahiagrass. Therefore, leaf stomata measurements were used as a preliminary screen. Data gave a bimodal distribution with overlapping tails and based on chromosome counts would have given an error rate of 12%. Flow cytometry analysis of regenerated plants resulted in mean nucleus fluorescence distributions consistent with control diploid or tetraploid values. These values agreed with chromosome counts, and this method is recommended for determining bahiagrass ploidy level. Research goals and available resources should be taken into consideration when selecting a treatment for chromosome doubling in bahiagrass.


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