Journal Article

Origin of triploid <i>Arachis pintoi</i> (Leguminosae) by autopolyploidy evidenced by FISH and meiotic behaviour

Graciela Inés Lavia, Alejandra Marcela Ortiz, Germán Robledo, Aveliano Fernández and Guillermo Seijo

in Annals of Botany

Published on behalf of The Annals of Botany Company

Volume 108, issue 1, pages 103-111
Published in print July 2011 | ISSN: 0305-7364
Published online January 2011 | e-ISSN: 1095-8290 | DOI:
Origin of triploid Arachis pintoi (Leguminosae) by autopolyploidy evidenced by FISH and meiotic behaviour

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  • Ecology and Conservation
  • Evolutionary Biology
  • Plant Sciences and Forestry


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Background and Aims

Polyploidy is a dominant feature of flowering-plant genomes, including those of many important crop species. Arachis is a largely diploid genus with just four polyploid species. Two of them are economically important: the cultivated peanut and A. glabrata, a tropical forage crop. Even though it is usually accepted that polyploids within papilionoid legumes have arisen via hybridization and further chromosome doubling, it has been recently suggested that peanut arose through bilateral sexual polyploidization. In this paper, the polyploid nature of the recent, spontaneously originated triploid cytotype of the tropical lucerne, A. pintoi, was analysed, and thereby the mechanism by which polyploids may arise in the genus.


Chromosome morphology of 2x and 3x A. pintoi was determined by the Feulgeńs technique and the rDNA sites were mapped by FISH. To investigate whether polyploidization occurred by means of unreduced gametes, a detailed analysis of the microsporogenesis and pollen grains was made.

Key Results

The 2x and 3x plants presented 9m + 1sm and a satellited chromosome type 2 in each haploid genome. Physical mapping revealed a cluster of 18S–26S rDNA, proximally located on chromosome 6, and two 5S rDNA loci on chromosomes 3 and 5. Diploid plants presented 10II in meiosis while trivalents were observed in all triploids, with a maximum of 10III by cell. Diploid A. pintoi produced normal tetrads, but also triads, dyads and monads. Two types of pollen grains were detected: (1) normal-sized with a prolate shape and (2) large ones with a tetrahedral morphology.


Karyotype and meiotic analysis demonstrate that the 3x clone of A. pintoi arose by autopolyploidy. The occurrence of unreduced gametes strongly supports unilateral sexual polyploidization as the most probable mechanism that could have led to the origin of the triploid cytotype. This mechanism of polyploidization would probably be one of the most important mechanisms involved in the origin of economically important species of Arachis, either by triploid bridge or bilateral sexual polyploidization.

Keywords: Arachis pintoi; autotriploid; Caulorrhizae; chromosome pairing; fluorescent in situ hybridization; unreduced gametes

Journal Article.  4959 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Ecology and Conservation ; Evolutionary Biology ; Plant Sciences and Forestry

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