Ploidy level and obligate apogamy in two populations of Argyrochosma nivea var. tenera (Pteridaceae)






ABSTRACT Argyrochosma nivea var. tenera is a cheilanthoid fern from the American continent. We present herewith the study of meiotic behavior and gametic number as well as number of spores and reproduction mode (with observations from cultured gametophytes). The study material is from Northwestern Argentina. For the study of meiosis, sporangia were fixed in ethanol-acetic acid (3:1) and stained with 2% propionic haematoxylin. Micrographs were taken using light and scanning electron microscopes. Meiotic chromosome number is 2n = 3x = 81 and the presence of lagging chromosomes at telophase II is mentioned for the first time; three sets of chromosome occur at diakinesis. Sporangia have 32 trilete spores. Adult gametophytes are laminar, cordiform, asymetrical, glabrous, without glandular trichomes. In our samples, the adult gametophytes were neuter, without antheridia or archegonia, with obligate apogamous reproduction. Both populations studied might be of hybrid origin.

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