B chromosome in Plantago lagopus Linnaeus, 1753 shows preferential transmission and accumulation through unusual processes

Dhar, MKK, G.; Kaul, S.,  Comparative Cytogenetics,  11:375-391. 2017.

Plantago lagopus is a diploid (2n = 2x = 12) weed belonging to family Plantaginaceae. We reported a novel B chromosome in this species composed of 5S and 45S ribosomal DNA and other repetitive elements. In the present work, presence of B chromosome(s) was confirmed through FISH on root tip and pollen mother cells. Several experiments were done to determine the transmission of B chromosome through male and female sex tracks. Progenies derived from the reciprocal crosses between plants with (1B) and without (0B) B chromosomes were studied. The frequency of B chromosome bearing plants was significantly higher than expected, in the progeny of 1B female x 0B male. Thus, the B chromosome seems to have preferential transmission through the female sex track, which may be due to meiotic drive. One of the most intriguing aspects of the present study was the recovery of plants having more chromosomes than the standard complement of 12 chromosomes. Such plants were isolated from the progenies of B chromosome carrying plants. The origin of these plants can be explained on the basis of a two step process; formation of unreduced gametes in 1B plants and fusion of unreduced gametes with the normal gametes or other unreduced gametes. Several molecular techniques were used which unequivocally confirmed similar genetic constitution of 1B (parent) and plants with higher number of chromosomes.