Analysis of genetic variability in various tissue culture-derived lemon plant populations using RAPD and flow cytometry

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Five populations of lemon plants [Citrus limon (L.) Burm] obtained from undeveloped ovules through different tissue culture procedures were examined for the presence of somaclonal and irradiation-induced genetic variation. Tested groups were: (1) nucellar seedlings; (2) organogenic, regenerated via adventitious buds from nucellar seedling internodes; (3) embryogenic population, regenerated from non-irradiated nucellar callus via somatic embryogenesis; (4) embryogenic population, regenerated from irradiated nucellar callus via somatic embryogenesis; and (5) protoplast-derived, regenerated via somatic embryogenesis. Genomic DNA samples from 360 plants (72 from each group) were screened for polymorphism among RAPD fingerprints amplified by 10 decamer primers. Among all tested plants, genetic variation was detected only within the group of plants recovered from irradiated embryogenic calli. Out of 72 plants from that group, three had RAPD fingerprints different from the rest of the population, and fourth plant was found to be cytochimeric, consisting of diploid and tetraploid cells as revealed by flow cytometry. In all other populations of regenerated plants, we did not come across any plants with changed ploidy level.

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