, 215:158 | Cite as

Cytotaxonomic investigation and meiotic behavior of natural populations of genus Avena in Algeria

  • Assia Aissat
  • Rachid Amirouche
  • Nabila AmiroucheEmail author


Karyotype and meiotic analysis were performed on forty-five natural populations of genus Avena sampled in contrasting bioclimatic areas of Northern Africa. The diploids (2n = 2x = 14) A. clauda, A. eriantha and A. hirtula are sporadic in hills and mountains of the Tellian Atlas only. A. wiestii (2x) are scattered in arid and semi-arid regions, of which an unexpected 4x population has been discovered. A. barbata (4x) and A. sterilis (6x) are widespread in all bioclimates while A. fatua (6x) is rather rare. Most populations show remarkable novelties in the intra and inter karyotype asymmetry indexes, particularly the 4x cytotype of the endemic A. macrostachya which has almost exclusively metacentric chromosomes. Both 2x, 4x and 6x annual species display regular meiosis with generally bivalent association. Univalents, multivalents, laggards, bridges, asynchronous divisions and micronuclei were often observed. Meiotic behavior observed for the first time in the locus classicus of A. macrostachya, indicate constant occurrence of one or two tetravalents. Meiotic features together with the main bioclimatic parameters, were submitted to a principal component analysis. Significant correlations were found particularly between frequencies of multivalents and laggards with the Mediterranean bioclimatic coefficient and the maximum temperature of the hottest month. These new cytogenetic data have been discussed in the context of the geographical distribution of diploids and polyploids and the aftermath of the local environmental stress conditions on the meiotic process within natural populations.


Aveneae Karyotype Meiosis Polyploidy Wild populations Bioclimate 



The present work has received a financial assistance from the University of Sciences and Technology Houari Boumediene (USTHB, Algiers, Algeria). It was conducted in the framework of the Projet Genetic assessment of traditional varieties and their related wild species in Algeria (Cnepru No. D01N01UN160420150008) of the Team Biosystematics, Genetics and Evolution. The authors wish to thank the two anonymous reviewers for their suggestions and comments that have improved our manuscript. We are also grateful to S. Benhouhou, the manager of the Official Herbarium of ENSA.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflicts of interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interests.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Team Biosystematics, Genetic and Evolution, LBPO Lab, Faculty of Biological SciencesUniversity of Sciences and Technology Houari Boumediene (USTHB)El-Alia, Bab-EzzouarAlgeria

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