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Chromosome number, male meiosis and pollen fertility in selected angiosperms of the cold deserts of Lahaul-Spiti and adjoining areas (Himachal Pradesh, India)

Puneet Kumar and Vijay Kumar Singhal
Plant Systematics and Evolution
Vol. 297, No. 3/4 (December 2011), pp. 271-297
Published by: Springer
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/43558622
Page Count: 27
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Chromosome number, male meiosis and pollen fertility in selected angiosperms of the cold deserts of Lahaul-Spiti and adjoining areas (Himachal Pradesh, India)
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Abstract

In this study the exact chromosome number, detailed meiotic behavior in pollen mother cells and pollen viability were investigated, which can contribute to a better understanding of the cytological evolution of the species growing in the cold deserts of Lahaul-Spiti (Himachal Pradesh, India). This study is the first such comprehensive attempt to explore the region chromosomally. Chromosome number, meiotic behavior and pollen fertility were analyzed in 301 accessions of 140 species of Polypetalae. Chromosome counts in 14 species are the first ever records, viz., Aquilegia pubiflora (n = 7), Corydalis govaniana (n = 8), C. thyrsiflora (n = 8), Hedysarum astragaloides (n = 7), H. microcalyx (n = 7), Oxytropis thomsoni (n = 8), Rhodiola tibetica (n = 10), R. wallichianum (n = 16), Rosularia alpestris (n = 14), Epilobium chitralense in = 18), E. leiospermum (n = 18), Heracleum brunonis (2n = 33), H. thomsonii (n = 11) and Pleurospermum govanianum (n = 9). New intraspecific diploid or polyploid cytotypes have been recorded in 13 species. The species of these cold deserts are quite active in evolution, depicting heterogeneity in chromosome number involving polyploidy, 51 species (36.43%) and/or aneuploidy (37 species). Various meiotic abnormalities were observed in the majority of the species, causing pollen sterility and pollen grains of variable sizes. We are of the opinion that harsh climatic conditions have caused various meiotic abnormalities in the majority of the plants, which has affected the genetic constitution and viability of male gametes.

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