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Failure of chromosome pairing as evidence of secondary diploidy inZea mays

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1. A method of testing the goodness of fit of the obtained variability and frequency distribution to the theoretical variability and frequency distribution for the character failure of pairing during diakinesis of division I is given in detail.

2. The results from an application of this test to data obtained fromZea mays indicate that the method will provide another means of determining chromosome relationships in addition to chromosome morphology, chiasma formation, and somatic and secondary pairing.

3. The variability and frequency distribution of the data forZea mays conform to hypothesis IV (Diagram 1) which assumes that as regards failure of pairing during diakinesis of division I the 10 pairs of chromosomes respond as 7 independent units; 5 units being composed of 1 pair of homologous chromosomes, another unit being composed of 3 pairs of chromosomes, and the last unit being composed of 2 pairs of chromosomes.

4. The analysis of the data shows that the 10 pairs of chromosomes ofZea mays react to the forces causing failure of pairing as 7 independent units and that all 10 pairs are involved.

5. The data support the phylogenetic theory thatZea mays is a secondary diploid, having originated from a form or forms with 7 pairs of chromosomes.

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Senior Geneticist, United States Department of Agriculture, Beirian Plant Inst., Division of Fruit and Vegetable Crops and Diseases, Horticultural Field Station, Cheyenne Wyoming, and Associate Professor of Mathematics, Colorado State College, Fort Collins, Colorado, respectively.

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Powers, L., Clark, A. Failure of chromosome pairing as evidence of secondary diploidy inZea mays . Journ. of Genetics 35, 301 (1937).

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  • Frequency Distribution
  • Chromosome Number
  • Chromosome Pairing
  • Homologous Chromosome
  • Basic Number