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Article|01 Oct 2018|OPEN
Multiple haploids, triploids, and tetraploids found in modern-day “living fossil” Ginkgo biloba
Lucie Horová1, Ondřej Knápek1, Heidi Dieck2, Martin Dieck2, Katarína Ražná3, Pavel Hrubík4, Laszlo Orlóci5, Laszlo Papp5, Kristýna Veselá1, Pavel Veselý1, Petr Bureš1 & Petr Šmarda1,
1Department of Botany and Zoology, Masaryk University, Koltlářská 2, CZ-61137 Brno, Czech Republic
2Herrenkamper Gärten, Herrenkamp 1, DE-27254 Siedenburg, Germany
3Department of Genetics and Plant Breeding, Slovak University of Agriculture in Nitra, Tr. A. Hlinku 2, 949 76 Nitra, Slovakia
4Slovak University of Agriculture in Nitra, Faculty of Horticulture and Landscape Engineering, Dunajská 16, 949 11 Nitra, Slovakia
5Botanical Garden of Eötvös University, Illés utca 25, Budapest, Hungary

Horticulture Research 5,
Article number: 55 (2018)
doi: 10.1038/hortres.2018.55
Views: 516

Received: 09 Jan 2018
Revised: 07 May 2018
Accepted: 21 May 2018
Published online: 01 Oct 2018


Ginkgo biloba, the last extant representative of a lineage of Mesozoic gymnosperms, is one of the few seed plants with an exceptionally long (~300 Myr) evolutionary history free of genome-wide duplications (polyploidy). Despite this genome conservatism, we have recently found a viable spontaneous tetraploid Ginkgo sapling during routine screening of several plants, demonstrating that natural polyploidy is possible in Ginkgo. Here we provide a much wider flow cytometry survey of ploidy in some European Ginkgo collections, and own seedlings (>2200 individuals and ~200 cultivars). We found a surprisingly high level of ploidy variation in modern-day Ginkgo and documented altogether 13 haploid, 3 triploid, and 10 tetraploid Ginkgo plants or cultivars, most of them being morphologically distinct from common diploids. Haploids frequently produced polyploid (dihaploid) buds or branches. Tetraploids showed some genome size variation. The surveyed plants provide a unique resource for future Ginkgo research and breeding, and they might be used to accelerate the modern diversification of this nearly extinct plant lineage.