Crosses between sexual and apomictic dandelions (Taraxacum). II. The breakdown of apomixis

P.J. Van Dijk, I.C.Q. Tas, M. Falque, Tanja Bakx-Schotman

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    111 Citations (Scopus)


    Some dandelions are diplosporous gametophytic apomicts. In order to study the inheritance and breakdown of apomixis, crosses were made between diploid sexuals and triploid apomicts. To investigate their breeding system, four nonapomictic diploid and 10 nonapomictic triploid hybrids were pollinated with diploids and the progenies were analysed. Seed fertility was significantly reduced in two diploid hybrids. Nine triploid hybrids were fertile and could be classified into three types, with respect to the composition of their progenies. Type A produced n + n hybrids. Type B produced either a mixture of n + n and 2n + n hybrids, or a mixture of pseudogamous 2n + 0 apomicts and 2n + n hybrids. Type C produced exclusively 2n + n hybrids. Inheritance of a microsatellite marker strongly suggested that 2n egg cells in type C plants were produced by a first division restitution mechanism. As in apomicts, microsporogenesis in type C plants was reductional. This suggests that type C plants are diplosporous plants that lack parthenogenesis. Such plants are very rare in other apomictic plant species. It is concluded that 'elements of apomixis', diplospory and parthenogenesis, can be uncoupled. This is inconsistent with the single-locus model for apomixis in Taraxacum as suggested by Mogie (1992). Instead, our results suggest that several loci are involved in the genetic control of apomixis in Taraxacum. [KEYWORDS: 2n-gametes; apomixis; diplospory; parthenogenesis; pseudogamy;Taraxacum Fertilization]
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)715-721
    Publication statusPublished - 1999


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