Periódicos Brasileiros em Medicina Veterinária e Zootecnia

Meiotic behavior in apomictic Brachiaria ruziziensis × B. brizantha (Poaceae) progenies

Aparecida Fuzinatto, VeridianaSuely Pagliarini, MariaBorges do Valle, Cacilda

Hybrids combining desirable traits from divergent parents are the main objective of some Brachiaria (Syn. Urochloa P. Beauv.) breeding programs. There is great interest in the development of apomictic hybrid cultivars that combine desirable genes such as resistance to spittlebugs, high nutritive value, and tolerance to acid soils. Microsporogenesis of six apomictic progenies resulting from a tetraploid (2n = 4x = 36) cross between B. ruziziensis × B. brizantha was evaluated under light microscopy. Genetic recombination, ensured by multivalent chromosome association and crossing-over at prophase occurred in low frequency among progenies, and in one, recombination was almost nonexistent. The percentage of meiocytes with meiotic abnormalities among progenies ranged from 16.6 % to 85.6 %. Besides an observed irregular chromosome segregation typical of polyploid hybrids in these five progenies, putative meiotic mutations characterized as desynapsis and divergent spindle organization occurred in three progenies. These anomalies caused frequent fractionation of the genome into several microspores of different sizes. In Brachiaria, new cultivars must be apomictic to fix the genotype. However, Brachiaria is a pseudogamous apomict, and viable gametes are necessary to produce viable seeds. Considering meiotic behavior, only two progenies are promising for advancement in the breeding program.

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