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Trends Plant Sci. 2007 Aug;12(8):368-75. Epub 2007 Jul 12.

The resurgence of haploids in higher plants.

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SCRI, Genetics Programme, Invergowrie, Dundee, DD2 5DA, UK.


The life cycle of plants proceeds via alternating generations of sporophytes and gametophytes. The dominant and most obvious life form of higher plants is the free-living sporophyte. The sporophyte is the product of fertilization of male and female gametes and contains a set of chromosomes from each parent; its genomic constitution is 2n. Chromosome reduction at meiosis means cells of the gametophytes carry half the sporophytic complement of chromosomes (n). Plant haploid research began with the discovery that sporophytes can be produced in higher plants carrying the gametic chromosome number (n instead of 2n) and that their chromosome number can subsequently be doubled up by colchicine treatment. Recent technological innovations, greater understanding of underlying control mechanisms and an expansion of end-user applications has brought about a resurgence of interest in haploids in higher plants.

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