The inheritance of B chromosomes in Allium schoenoprasum L

Bougourd, SMP, A. B.,  Chromosome Research,  4:151-158. 1996.

The inheritance of B chromosomes has been investigated in Allium schoenoprasum from the River Wye, Powys; controlled crosses between plants of known B chromosome constitution were carried out, and the numbers of Bs present in the progenies scored. There was considerable heterogeneity in B chromosome transmission rates across the range of B chromosome numbers, through both the male and female lines, and in crosses involving odd and even numbers of Bs. The mean B number of the progeny was lower than the Mendelian expectation in 41 of the 57 crosses, significantly so in about a third of cases. No progeny had a mean B number significantly higher than expected. The mean transmission rate per B was not significantly different between parents with different numbers of Bs, in either the male or female line, or between plants carrying odd or even numbers of Bs. Transmission through the male line (0.43) was higher than through the female line (0.35), but not significantly so. The overall mean transmission rate per B (0.4), estimated from all crosses, was significantly lower than the expected rate of 0.5. This study provides conclusive evidence that B chromosomes in A. schoenoprasum from the River Wye lack an effective accumulation mechanism and, furthermore, show significant losses during transmission to the progeny of controlled crosses.