Analysis of the morphological effects of B chromosomes in a population of Plantago lagopus

Gurmeet Kour, Balbir Kour, Sanjana Koul, Manoj K. Dhar

Abstract


B chromosomes have generally been considered inert with no major effects. Although, in the present case B
chromosome has been found to be totally heterochromatic, yet going by its unique nature, its influence on plant morphology was studied. Morphological studies were carried out on different cytotypes of Plantago lagopus. An investigation was carried out for the period of five years to study a possible correlation between B chromosomes and morphological variation in Plantago lagopus. Data based on a study of 250 plants (175 B chromosome carriers and 75 non-carriers) clearly showed a lack of any relationship between B chromosome and plant morphology. Various parameters were recorded to check the effect of B chromosome on plants. It was observed that plants with B chromosomes are indistinguishable from those without B chromosomes. Presence of one or two B chromosomes did not impair fertility. With increase in number of B chromosomes, the fertility showed decreasing trend so that individuals with higher number of B chromosomes were completely male sterile.

 

Keywords: Plantago, B chromosome, morphology, supernumery, fertility.


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