Submitted to: Crop Science
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/12/1999
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: The fertilization of an unreduced egg (2n+n) occurs at a low frequency in apomictic plants. This phenomenon results in the creation of new genotypes because whole alien genomes are incorporated with the entire somatic chromosome complement of the apomictic female parent. Recent findings have demonstrated that the frequency of 2n+n fertilization is increased by early ypollination and appears to have potential as a tool for improving apomicts where sexual germplasm is not available. One sexual and five apomictic buffelgrass, Pennisetum ciliare (L.) Link, accessions were either self pollinated or crossed with apomictic birdwoodgrass, P. ciliare (L.) Link var. setigerum (Vahl.) Leek. More than 100 2n+n F1 hybrids and S1 progeny were recovered. Most of the 2n+n plants were more vigorous and produced more forage than either parent. The method of reproduction and seed set were investigated for these 2n+n plants. Their mode of reproduction was determined by examining embryo sac development in ovules and by progeny testing. Apomixis was prevalent and seed set (number caryopses/involucre) ranged from 1 to 131%.