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A ploidy chimera reveals the effects of tetraploidy in date palm

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In the oasis of Tozeur (Tunisia) a peculiar date palm ploidy chimera was discovered, showing a diploid (2n = 2x) and a tetraploid (2n =4x) sector and a uniform tetraploid offshoot. This chimera allowed to describe the effects of chromosome doubling on some selected features. Because both ploidies occur within one plant, there was no environmental bias. Tetraploid leaves are longer, bear larger leaflets and spines and have a thicker rachis than normal diploid leaves. During three seasons, tetraploid inflorescences appeared ten days later than their diploid counterparts. The tetraploid sector formed bunches with stalks bearing larger fruits, with a higher percentage of inedible parthenocarpic fruits, than bunches that arose from the diploid sector. Tetraploid fruits are significantly longer, wider and heavier than diploid fruits, with a larger pulp diameter, irrespective of whether they are seeded or parthenocarpic. Diploid parthenocarpic fruits are longer than seeded fruits, while tetraploid parthenocarpic and seeded fruits both show the same size. The occurrence of tetraploidy opens new perspectives in date palm breeding. Pollination of tetraploid pistils with pollen from diploid males gave rise to a relatively low number of triploid plantlets, suggesting a triploid block.
Tijdschrift: Gartenbauwwissenschaft
ISSN: 0016-478X
Issue: 3
Volume: 85
Pagina's: 137 - 144
Jaar van publicatie:2020