Cytological relationships among Eumelilotus species analysed using cytological observations of interspecific hybrids obtained by in vitro culture

Sen Ha, Masahiko Maekawa, Fumiji Kita, Toshiro Kinoshita

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Interspecific hybrid plants between Melilotus altissima (yellow flowers) and either M. alba (white flowers) or M. taurica (white flowers) and between M. suaveolens (yellow flowers) and M. wolgica (white flowers) which were inviable because of heavy chlorosis, were grown successfully by in vitro culture and reached the flowering stage. Pollen fertility of hybrid plants between M. altissima and M. alba was about 46% whereas hybrids between M. altissima and M. taurica and between M. suaveolens and M. wolgica showed about 25% and 18% of pollen fertility, respectively. All F1s did not set any selfed seeds. Observing the pairing of chromosomes at metaphase I in the hybrid plants, it was revealed that the genomes of M. altissima and M. alba differ by a reciprocal translocation. This result could account for the partial sterility of pollen in the F1 hybrids. On the other hand, hybrid plants between M. altissima and M. taurica and between M. suaveolens and M. wolgica showed normal pairing of chromosomes though pollen fertility of the hybrids was very low, suggesting that low pollen fertility was controlled by sterility gene(s). These results demonstrate that M. altissima and 7 other species of the subgenus Eumelilotus share the same chromosomal constitution. The only exception, M. alba, differs from the other 8 species by a segmental interchange.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)17-22
Number of pages6
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 1998



  • In vitro culture
  • Interspecific hybrid
  • Melilotus
  • Reciprocal translocation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Genetics
  • Plant Science
  • Horticulture

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