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Variation in a single protoplast- and seed-derived population of Lotus corniculatus L.

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Lotus comiculatus L. is a widely cultivated, outbreeding, leguminous forage crop. Seventy-one plants, most of which were tetraploid, were regenerated from calli derived from a single protoplast. Their morphological and agronomic traits were evaluated and compared with those of the seed-produced population. The variances of most of the traits in the protoplast-derived (protoclonal) population were smaller than those of the seed-produced population. Mean values of all the traits of the protoclonal population shifted significantly towards lower values. However, new phenotypic variants with higher values than those of the plant initially used for protoplast isolation were also observed. Plants with less hydrocyanic acid (which has a toxic effect on cattle) than the initial plant were obtained in the protoclones. Generally, the pollen fertility of protoclones was significantly low compared with the seed-produced plants. This seems to be partly due to the occurrence of abnormalities in chromosome structure during protoplast and/or callus culture, as suggested by the formation of univalents, lagging, and fragment chromosomes and bridges at metaphase I and anaphase I and II of the regenerants. The changes in chromosome structure, however, did not induce any malformed morphologies.

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Communicated by K. Tsunewaki

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Niizeki, M., Ishikawa, R. & Saito, K. Variation in a single protoplast- and seed-derived population of Lotus corniculatus L.. Theoret. Appl. Genetics 80, 732–736 (1990). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00224185

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Key words

  • Birdsfoot trefoil
  • Lotus comiculatus
  • Protoclone
  • Somaclonal variation
  • Chromosome structural changes