The production of 2n pollen (pollen with the sporophytic chromosome number) was evaluated in 4x and 6x taxa of Vaccinium section Cyanococcus. Mean frequencies of 2n pollen producers were 17.1% and 8.3% in natural 4x and 6x populations, respectively. The frequency of 2n pollen producers in the 4x species ranged from 8.6% (V. angustifolium) to 23.8% (V. pallidum). Level of 2n pollen production was genotypically variable (1% to 37.4%). The widespread occurrence of 2n pollen in 2x, 4x and 6x taxa suggests that sexual polyploidization was widespread and responsible for the origin of the polyploid species found in this genus. The frequency of 2n pollen producers was not significantly different between the 4x species and their putative 2x ancestors. These results support the origin of 4x and 6x taxa as a consequence of sexual polyploidization. Polyploids derived from sexual polyploidization would be expected to have increased fitness and flexibility due to the mode of 2n pollen formation. In blueberry species the predominant mode of 2n pollen formation is genetically equivalent to a first division restitution mechanism (FDR). FDR 2n pollen transmits a high percentage of the heterozygosity and a large fraction of the epistasis from the 2x parent to the 4x offspring.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Agronomy and Crop Science
- Plant Science
- FDR 2n pollen
- Vaccinium section Cyanococcus
- phenotypic frequency
- sexual polyploidization