Elimination of multivalents during meiotic prophase in Scilla autumnalis. I. Diploid and triploid

J. White, G. Jenkins, J. S. Parker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The ultrastructure and pairing behaviour of the chromosomes of two diploid cytotypes and a triploid of Scilla autumnalis were investigated using the techniques of three-dimensional reconstruction from serial electron micrographs and whole-mount surface spreading of synaptonemal complexes. The diploids, designated AA and B7B7, have karyotypes that are virtually identical in appearance at mitotic metaphase but differ in length by 47% and in DNA content by 66%. All the chromosomes were identified during meiotic prophase in both diploids, enabling construction of accurate karyotypes, which were the same as those derived from root tip metaphases. Chromosome pairing was largely regular with very few structural chromosome rearrangements. These two observations permitted confident interpretations of multivalent configurations observed in polyploids containing multiples of the A and B7 genomes. In the triploid (AB7B7) during meiotic prophase lateral components are associated in groups of three, either as trivalents with several exchanges of pairing partners, or as bivalents and univalents in close alignment. The overall difference in length between A and B7 chromosomes is close to expected, but varies to some degree depending on the extent of pairing between the two chromosome types. Most of the synaptonemal complexes between A and B7 homoeologues are ineffective in terms of chiasma formation, as revealed by the low frequency of multivalents and heteromorphic bivalents at metaphase I. In other words, there is an elimination of multivalents during meiotic prophase in the triploid.Key words: Scilla autumnalis, synaptonemal complex, multivalents, elimination.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)930-939
Number of pages9
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 01 Dec 1988


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