Desynapsis and spindle abnormalities leading to 2n pollen formation in Vaccinium darrowi

L. Qu, N. Vorsa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Cytological investigation revealed desynapsis in microsporogenesis of a wild diploid clone of Vaccinium darrowi. Expression of desynapsis appears variable among the pollen mother cells (PMCs). In the PMCs expressing desynapsis, all or most chromosomes appeared to be completely desynapsed before anaphase I (AI) since bivalents were rare at this stage. In some PMCs complete separation of chromatids was also observed before AI. Consequently, one or both meiotic divisions were lacking, which in turn suggests either a lack of spindle formation or function. Lack of spindle function was hypothesized from the observation that in PMCs with only separated chromatids (daughter chromosomes) before AI or anaphase II (AII), their subsequent movement to anaphase poles was not observed. Thus, spindle formation or function appears to be dependent on paired homologues (bivalents) or minimally joined sister chromatids (univalents) being present. Omission of meiosis II could lead to formation of fertile 2n pollen (~5%), since a balanced chromosome complement would be expected with an equational division of the entire chromosome complement at AI. The genetic constitution of the 2n gamete would be equivalent to first division restitution (FDR) origin. If chiasmata are lacking then recombination would be absent, and 100% transmission of parental heterozygosity would be expected with FDR 2n gametes. Because desynapsis may arise from the lack of effective chiasmata between the paired homologues, a high level of parental heterozygosity is expected to be retained in the 2n gametes. The potential usage of the 2n gametes in blueberry breeding was discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)35-40
Number of pages6
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1999
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biotechnology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics


  • 2n pollen
  • Blueberry
  • Desynapsis
  • Spindle abnormality

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