The effects of developmental stage of the anther, ageing of the plant, inbreeding and season on meiotic segregation of an interchange chain quadrivalent were studied in pearl millet, Pennisetum americanum (L.) Leeke. The frequency of adjacent orientation (and segregation) increased with developmental stage of the anther, independent of other factors. Plant age and degree of inbreeding had no demonstrable effects, but there was an indication that high temperature favoured adjacent orientation. Chromosome contraction as measured by change in chromosome length appeared to be negligible during metaphase-anaphase. Therefore, increased adjacent orientation cannot readily be explained by metaphase reorientation resulting from the straightening of chromosomes caused by an increase in their rigidity. It is probable that the unoriented or "mal-oriented" quadrivalents observed regularly at early metaphase I continue to straighten out prior to their delayed orientation. When they finally orientate late in metaphase, their orientation will more likely be adjacent than alternate.
ASJC Scopus subject areas