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The Scientific World Journal
Volume 2014, Article ID 134192, 7 pages
Research Article

Cytomictic Anomalous Male Meiosis and 2n Pollen Grain Formation in Mertensia echioides Benth. (Boraginaceae) from Kashmir Himalaya

1Department of Botany, Faculty of Life Sciences, Punjabi University, Patiala, Punjab 147002, India
2Centre for Biodiversity and Taxonomy, Department of Botany, University of Kashmir, Hazratbal, Srinagar, Jammu & Kashmir 190006, India

Received 19 July 2014; Accepted 16 October 2014; Published 2 December 2014

Academic Editor: Jennifer A. Tate

Copyright © 2014 Reyaz Ahmad Malik et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Presently Mertensia echioides Benth. (Boraginaceae) collected from Kashmir Himalaya, India, is cytologically analyzed for the first time revealing (diploid). Interestingly we found 4.3–6.2% syncytic meiocytes/PMCs with (tetraploid) in addition to normal meiocytes () during male meiosis. These comparatively larger PMCs (pollen mother cells) lead to the formation of fertile giant pollen grains. A frequency of 6.4–13.3% PMCs shows transfer of chromatin material at prophase-I and, therefore, results in aneuploid meiocytes. Whole chromatin transfer by the process of cytomixis could also have led to the formation of tetraploid cells. Translocation heterozygosity is also evident in the form of multivalents in 12–17% diploid () meiocytes at diakinesis and metaphase-I and is reported for the first time in this species. The syncytes formed depict open chain hexavalent and quadrivalent formation in the three populations with different frequencies. Moreover chromatin stickiness at metaphase-I is observed in 45% of PMCs in population-1 (P-1). Syncyte or unreduced PMC formation leading to unreduced fertile gametes is here speculated to act as a possible way out for infraspecific polyploidization in the species.