Diploidisation of Lotus corniculatus L. (Fabaceae) by elimination of multivalents

Andrew Davies, G. Jenkins, H. Rees

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Lotus corniculatus L. (Fabaceae) is a natural tetraploid of probably hybrid origin, which regularly forms bivalents at metaphase I of meiosis. Whole-mount surface-spreading of synaptonemal complexes (SCs) under the electron microscope reveals that diploidisation of this spccies is achieved not by exclusive pairing of homologues during meiotic prophase, but by the elimination of multivalents in favour of bivalents before metaphase I. Observations show that 43% of multivalents are eliminated between zygotene and pachytene, presumably by dissolution and reassembly of SCs between homologous chromosomes. A further 63% are eliminated between pachytene and diakinesis, with a commensurate increase in the number of univalents. Elimination ensures few multivalents reach first metaphase and effectively diploidises this tetraploid.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)289-295
Number of pages7
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 01 Aug 1990


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