The Behavior of the Chromosomes in Oenothera lata x O. gigas

Reginald Ruggles Gates
Botanical Gazette
Vol. 48, No. 3 (Sep., 1909), pp. 179-199
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The Behavior of the Chromosomes in Oenothera lata x O. gigas


1. O. lata x O. gigas has 21 chromosomes in its somatic cells, 7 of maternal origin (O. lata) and 14 of paternal origin (O. gigas). In one individual the number was 20, owing probably to the absence of one chromosome from one of the germ cells which produced this individual. 2. These chromosomes segregate at the time of reduction, so that in individuals having 21 chromosomes half the germ cells receive 10 and half 11 chromosomes. In the individual having 20 chromosomes, 10 enter each germ cell. Occasionally one chromosome goes to the wrong pole of the spindle, so that in plants having 21 chromosomes a few germ cells are found having 9 or 12 chromosomes and in the plant with 20 chromosomes, occasional germ cells have 9 or 11 chromosomes. This irregularity in chromosome distribution accounts for the fact that different individuals in a race in some cases have different numbers of chromosomes. 3. The 10-11 segregation of chromosomes in the formation of the germ cells of this hybrid shows that there is not here a pairing and separation of homologous chromosomes of maternal and paternal origin, but that the segregation tends to be into two numerically equal groups. 4. Evidence from this and other work shows that there are two general methods of chromosome reduction in plants, one involving a side-by-side pairing of chromatin threads (parasynapsis) to form a double spirem; the other involving an end-to-end arrangement (telosynapsis) of the maternal and paternal chromosomes to form a single spirem, which may afterward split longitudinally. 5. The behavior of the chromosomes in Oenothera supports the view of their genetic continuity from generation to generation, the number present in any individual being always the sum of the chromosomes in the germ cells from which that individual was formed. 6. If the chromosomes of Oenothera are unlike in their hereditary capacities their behavior furnishes a not improbable basis for the phenomena of mutation in Oenothera Lamarckiana. But it remains to be proven that the chromosomes of Oenothera are of unequal hereditary value.

Notes and References

This item contains 44 references.

  • 1
    This reference contains 4 citations:
    • DEVRIES in a footnote to a recent paper (5
    • BOVERI 4
    • LILLIE 23
    • ROSENBERG 31
  • 2
  • 3
    ROSENBERG (32) in Hieracium excellens
  • 6
    WILSON (36).
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