Spontaneous meiotic mutations of winter rye Secale cereale L. (2n = 14) were revealed in inbred F2 progenies, which were obtained by self-pollination of F1 hybrids resulting from crosses of individual plants of cultivar Vyatka or weedy rye with plants of self-fertile inbred lines. The mutations cause partial or complete sterility, and are maintained in heterozygote condition. Six types of mutations were distinguished as the result of cytological analysis of meiosis and genetic analysis. (1) Plants with nonallelic asynaptic mutations sy1 and sy9 lacked bivalents in 96.8 and 67.0% metaphase I cells, respectively, formed only axial elements but not the mature synaptonemal complex (SC), and had defects in telomere clustering in early prophase I. (2) Weak asynaptic mutant sy3 showed incomplete synapsis at the start of SC degradation at diplotene and lower chiasma number; yet only 2% meiocytes lacked bivalents in MI. (3) Mutations sy2, sy6, sy7, sy8, sy10, and sy19 caused nonhomologous synapsis; i.e., a varying number of univalents and occasional multivalents were observed in MI, which was preceded by switches of pairing partners and fold-back synapsis at mid-prophase I. (4) Mutation mei6 led to the formation of protrusions and minor branched structures of the SC lateral elements. (5) Allelic mutations mei8 and mei8-10 caused irregular chromatin condensation along the chromosome length in prophase I, which was accompanied by chromosome sticking and fragmentation in MI. (6) Allelic mutations mei5 and mei10 determined chromosome supercondensation, caused the disturbance of meiotic spindle assembly, arrested meiosis at various stages but did not affect formation of the pollen wall, thus arrested meiocytes got covered with the pollen wall. Analysis of double mutants revealed recessive epistatic interactions for some mutations; the epistatic group was sy9 > sy1 > sy3 > sy19. This reflects the sequence of meiotic events controlled by the corresponding genes. The expression of sy2 and sy19 proved to be modified by additional genes. Most meiotic mutations found in rye have analogs in other plants.    

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