Studies on meiosis in pollen mother cells (PMCs) of a triploid interspecific hybrid ($3x = 39$ chromosomes, AAD) between tetraploid Gossypium hirsutum ($4n = 2x = 52$,AADD) and diploid G. arboreum ($2n = 2x = 26$,AA) are reported. During meiotic metaphase I, 13 AA bivalents and 13 D univalents are expected in the hybrid. However, only 28% of the PMCs had this expected configuration. The rest of the PMCs had between 8 and 12 bivalents and between 12 and 17 univalents. Univalents lagged at anaphase I, and at metaphase II one or a group of univalents remained scattered in the cytoplasm and failed to assemble at a single metaphase plate. Primary bipolar spindles organized around the bivalents and multivalents. In addition to the primary spindle, several secondary and smaller bipolar spindles organized themselves around individual univalents and groups of univalents. Almost all (97%) of the PMCs showed secondary spindles. Each spindle functioned independently and despite their multiple numbers in a cell, meiosis I proceeded normally, with polyad formation. These observations strongly support the view that in plant meiocytes bilateral kinetochore symmetry is not required for establishing a bipolar spindle and that single unpaired chromosomes can initiate and stabilize the formation of a functional bipolar spindle.
Volume 101, 2022
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