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Abstract

We used germination tests to assess the frequency of polyembryony in 9 asparagus cultivars with a high propensity to produce double embryos with different ploidy levels: Alpha, Andreas, Boonlim, Cipres, Eposs, Helios, Limbras, Ravel and Sartaguda. Twin embryos inside a single seed were found in 3 cultivars: Eposs 2n, Ravel 2n and Sartaguda 2n, at 0.60% frequency (15 seeds with twin embryos out of 2500 seeds). Of 30 obtained seedlings, 14 were separated diploid-diploid twins, 6 were conjoined diploid pairs, 8 were separated diploid-haploid and 2 were diploid-haploid pairs conjoined in the hypocotyl region. Some embryos showed unilateral dominance of one embryo (size and shape). The haploid status of the smallest embryo was confirmed by chromosome number (n=x=10) and flow cytometry (nuclear C DNA amount 1.95 pg). The haploid obtained in this manner possessed enough vegetative vigor to undergo chromosome doubling.
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