For flowering plants, can flow cytometry of seed from muti-generational interaction of two species and their offspring help us decide if wide differences in genome size for the two species and their offspring is a function of differences in chromosome count versus chromosome length?

Flow cytometry of seed allows us to examine the contributions by the 2 parents to the resulting offspring from generation to generation.

The basic premise is flow cytometry scores for the offspring of "triploid" intermediates would distribute differently if the issue was length versus count. Fine distribution would indicate "aneuploids" because of counts whereas wide distribution would indicate length because length differences are concentrated in only a few chromosomes.

This basic premise proved faulty since flow cytometry scores indicate fine distribution (genome size scores reflecting every potential aneuploid between triploid and tetraploid) but documented chromosome counts indicate the issue is length.

What are the normal distribution patterns in terms of genome size for multigenerational offspring between 2 species having wide differences in chromosome length?


  • $\begingroup$ This is not a homework assignment. This question is motivated by actual flow cytometry results from a large number of samples for a large group of closely related Rhododendron species. I have been unable to find any good information on how the barriers to species interaction differ when the issue is chromosome number versus chromosome length. If there are straight forward textbook answers to this question, I would love to be guided to resources that provide insight to the answer. $\endgroup$ Commented Aug 26, 2015 at 11:08
  • $\begingroup$ I would recommend that you mention the flow cytometry protocol that you used (PI staining??). You need not elaborate on how you ruled out endoreplication. Just a short summary is enough. Focus on your main question. $\endgroup$
    Commented Aug 26, 2015 at 14:26
  • $\begingroup$ @WYSIWYG How can a question be off topic as a homework question when I have not taken a biology course since freshman year high school 1966? I do not know this biology forum well enough to say this question is not off topic but this is not a homework question and the question is motivated by actual flow cytometry findings for Rhododendrons on 2 different continents. $\endgroup$ Commented Aug 31, 2015 at 14:48
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    $\begingroup$ Please see our homework policy. Homework does not just mean homework in a course. For any problem, research or otherwise, the OP should show some effort towards the answer. I see that you have edited to add your effort but your question is too long and is difficult to read. Please retain only relevant sections and then this post can be reopened. $\endgroup$
    Commented Aug 31, 2015 at 14:56
  • $\begingroup$ @WYSIWYG Have focused attention to the basic premise of why I incorrectly thought flow cytometry could address the question of length versus count. Appreciate your efforts to refine this question to address the question of what is wrong with that basic premise, $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 1, 2015 at 17:30


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