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J Hered. 2000 May-Jun;91(3):242-6.

Novel flowering time variation in the resynthesized polyploid Brassica napus.

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Program in Cell and Molecular Biology, University of Wisconsin, Madison 53706, USA.


Recent molecular data using resynthesized polyploids of Brassica napus established that genome changes can occur rapidly after polyploid formation. In this study we present data that de novo phenotypic variation for flowering time also occurs rapidly after polyploidization. Two initial polyploid plants were developed by reciprocal crosses of B. rapa and B. oleracea followed by chromosome doubling to establish two lineages, each of which was expected to be homozygous and homogeneous. Several sublineages of each lineage were advanced by self-pollination. The range in days to flower of the sixth generation plants was 39-75 and 43-64 for the two lineages. Analysis of seventh generation progeny indicated that the variation was heritable. Lines were selected and self-pollinated to the eighth generation and also testcrossed to a natural B. napus cultivar; the testcross plants were then self-pollinated. Differences in flowering time were also inherited in these advanced generations. Days to flower was significantly correlated with leaf number in each generation. The rapid evolution of new phenotypic variation, like that observed in this model system, may have contributed to the success and diversification of natural polyploid organisms.

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