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Journal Articles Genetics Year : 2008

Cypress surrogate mother produces haploid progeny from alien pollen


Although most living organisms reproduce sexually, some have developed a uniparental reproduction where the embryo usually derives from the female parent. A unique case of paternal apomixis in plants has been recently reported in Cupressus dupreziana, an endangered Mediterranean conifer. This species produces unreduced pollen that develop into all-paternal embryos within the seed tissues. We analyzed seedlings produced by open-pollinated C. dupreziana seed trees using morphological descriptors, ploidy levels assessed through flow cytometry, and AFLP genetic diversity. In situ C. dupreziana seed trees (from Algeria) produced only diploid C. dupreziana progeny. In contrast, only one-third of the progeny produced by ex situ C. dupreziana seed trees planted in French collections were similar to C. dupreziana seedlings; the other progeny were haploid or diploid C. sempervirens seedlings. These results demonstrate that C. dupreziana ovules allow for the development of all-paternal embryos from pollen produced by another species, C. sempervirens. Thus, the in planta androgenesis is achieved through the combination of the embryogenic behavior of pollen grains and the ability of seed tree ovules to act as a surrogate mother. This phenomenon offers a unique opportunity to produce, by natural means, highly valuable material for genetic studies and selection of sterile cultivars

Dates and versions

hal-02666202 , version 1 (31-05-2020)



Christian Pichot, Benjamin Liens, Juana Laura Rivera Nava, Julien B. Bachelier, Mohamed El Maataoui. Cypress surrogate mother produces haploid progeny from alien pollen. Genetics, 2008, 178 (1), pp.379-383. ⟨10.1534/genetics.107.080572⟩. ⟨hal-02666202⟩
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