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The cytogenetic consequences of spontaneous cell fusion in Zea mays L. Peeters, John P.


The origin of spontaneously occurring new karyotypes containing additional DNA has remained enigmatic, although these genomic changes have been frequently reported in the literature both in vivo and in vitro. This study describes the cytogenetic consequences of spontaneous cell fusion in vivo during meiosis in the pollen mother cells of Zea mays L. It suggests that spontaneous cell fusion is a natural mechanism which can contribute not only to the formation of spontaneously occurring polyploids but also to aneuploidy and to the genesis of new karyotypes which contain additional structurally modified chromosomes, or B chromosomes.

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