Apomixes and Importance of apomixes in crop improvement


The term “apomixes” describes the occurrence of an asexual reproductive process in place of the typical sexual processes that involve fertilization and reduced division.

In other words, apomixes is a type of reproduction when gametes do not unite but sexual organs from adjacent tissues participate. These types of seeds have a vegetative origin.

Obligate apomixes is the term for apomixes that occurs only in a plant species. On the other hand, facultative apomixes refers to the coexistence of gametic and apomictic reproduction in the same plant.

Leuwenhoek is credited with discovering this event for the first time in citrus seeds back in 1719. Apomixes is a common occurrence in higher plants.

Apomictic species include more than 300 species from 35 families. Gramineae, Compositae, Rosaceae, and Rutaceae have the highest prevalence of it.

Exploitation of apomixes in crop improvement

The apomictic phenomena that naturally occurs in any plant must be found or recognised in order to take use of the apomixes in sexual harvests.

The artificial integration could take place by apomix-amphimict hybridization.

Detection of apomixes

Positive proof of the existence or absence of apomixes may only be established after a thorough screening of several plant species and hybrids.

The screening entails meticulously and methodically tracing each stage from megaspores through embryonic development, from the embryosac and embryo to ovule microtomy.

As a result, it is the task that requires the most patience and perseverance. However, it should be highlighted that the only apomixes that is advantageous for plant breeding is recurrent apomixes, namely the diploid forms of apospory, parthenogenesis, apogamy, adventitive embryony, and vegetative propagation.

The main justification for this is that these diploid forms are capable of producing viable diploids without fertilization, allowing them to persist indefinitely. Only in academia are non-recurrent apomixes important.

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