Are B chromosomes useful for crop improvement?

Neil Jones, Alevtina Ruban

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (SciVal)
288 Downloads (Pure)


The question of the usefulness of supernumerary B chromosomes (Bs) has long fascinated cytogeneticists. Since their discovery in 1907 thousands of species with Bs have been discovered, but their function in the genetics system remains enigmatic, from their origin, evolution, and adaptive significance, as well as their molecular structure and organization. New research is beginning to answer some of these tantalizing questions. Here, we summarize the known data and conclude that Bs are potentially useful, but only in a few known cases, especially in the grasses, and notably in terms of their engineering as plant artificial chromosomes (mini‐chromosomes) to carry whole suites of transgenes outside of, and free from interference with, the normal genome
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)84-92
Number of pages9
JournalPlants, People, Planet
Issue number2
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 01 Mar 2019


  • A/B interchanges
  • artificial chromosomes
  • B-chromosomes (Bs)
  • Bs in hybrids
  • chiasmata
  • gene mapping
  • mini-chromosomes
  • nondisjuntion


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