Genome size analysis of weedy Amaranthus species

A. Lane Rayburn, R. McCloskey, Tatiana C. Tatum, German A. Bollero, Mark R. Jeschke, Patrick J. Tranel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Weedy Amaranthus species pose a serious threat to agriculture. One of the areas that causes the greatest concern is development of herbicide resistance and subsequent transfer of herbicide resistance genes among the species. To determine the potential impact of interspecific hybridization, one must first be able to detect such hybrids. To determine if genome size could be useful in the detection of interspecific hybrids among the weedy Amaranthus species, the genome sizes of the weedy Amaranthus species sympatcic in Illinois were analyzed. In a series of experiments, the genome sizes of these species were determined by flow cytometric analysis. A significant variation was observed with respect to nuclear DNA content in the eight species examined. The genome sizes ranged from ≈0.95 pg in A. palmeri to ≈1.4 pg in A. tuberculatus. Overlap of genome sizes among the species does exist; however, due to the reproductive biology of the species, this overlap does not preclude the detection of interspecific hybrids. Any dioecious weedy Amaranthus plant in Illinois that has a genome size between 1.3 pg and 1.1 pg is probably a hybrid. Thus, the potential for genome size determination to reveal interspecific hybrids among weedy Amaranthus species has been demonstrated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2557-2562
Number of pages6
JournalCrop Science
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agronomy and Crop Science


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