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Genome Size Analysis of Weedy Amaranthus Species


This article in CS

  1. Vol. 45 No. 6, p. 2557-2562
    Received: Feb 23, 2005

    * Corresponding author(s): arayburn@uiuc.edu
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  1. A. Lane Rayburn *,
  2. R. McCloskey,
  3. Tatiana C. Tatum,
  4. German A. Bollero,
  5. Mark R. Jeschke and
  6. Patrick J. Tranel
  1. Dep. of Crop Sciences, Univ. of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 320 ERML, 1201 W. Gregory, Urbana, IL 61801


Weedy Amaranthus species pose a serious threat to agriculture. One of the areas that causes the greatest concern is development of herbicide resistance and subsequent transfer of herbicide resistance genes among the species. To determine the potential impact of interspecific hybridization, one must first be able to detect such hybrids. To determine if genome size could be useful in the detection of interspecific hybrids among the weedy Amaranthus species, the genome sizes of the weedy Amaranthus species sympatric in Illinois were analyzed. In a series of experiments, the genome sizes of these species were determined by flow cytometric analysis. A significant variation was observed with respect to nuclear DNA content in the eight species examined. The genome sizes ranged from ≈0.95 pg in A. palmeri to ≈1.4 pg in A. tuberculatus Overlap of genome sizes among the species does exist; however, due to the reproductive biology of the species, this overlap does not preclude the detection of interspecific hybrids. Any dioecious weedy Amaranthus plant in Illinois that has a genome size between 1.3 pg and 1.1 pg is probably a hybrid. Thus, the potential for genome size determination to reveal interspecific hybrids among weedy Amaranthus species has been demonstrated.

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Copyright © 2005. Crop Science Society of AmericaCrop Science Society of America