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Different timing and spatial separation of parental chromosomes in intergeneric somatic hybrids between Brassica napus and Orychophragmus violaceus

Author(s): L. Ding, Z.G. Zhao, X.H. Ge and Z.Y. Li

Experimental and newly formed hybrids and polyploids generated by wide crosses usually show varying degrees of cytological instability. The spatial separation of parental genomes and uniparental chromosome elimination in hybrid cells has been reported in many hybrids from plants and animals. Herein, the behavior of parental genomes in intergeneric somatic hybrids between Brassica napus and Orychophragmus violaceus was analyzed using genomic in situ hybridization (GISH). In mitotic and meiotic cells, the chromosomes from O. violaceus were distinguished from B. napus by their larger size and staining patterns. In interphase nuclei of the hybrid, O. violaceus-labeled chromatin appeared as large heterochromatic blocks that were nonrandomly distributed at prophase, typically distributed toward one side of the nucleus. In pollen mother cells at prophase I of meiosis, O. violaceus chromosomes appeared as one or two deeply stained chromatin blocks that resolved into bivalents at a late stage, after bivalents from B. napus were visible. Thereafter, bivalents of O. violaceus congressed to the equatorial plate and segregated at anaphase I after those from B. napus. The different behavior of O. violaceus chromosomes in the hybrids indicates that they have differential condensation states at interphase and progress later through the cell cycle and meiosis than B. napus chromosomes. This difference in behavior may restrict or prevent the formation of bivalents of mixed genome origin. Differential gene expression of parental alleles including rDNA loci may contribute to their distinct cytological behavior and to the phenotype of hybrids.