Crosses between the diploid Hylocereus polyrhizus, as the female parent, and the tetraploid Selenicereus megalanthus, as the male parent, yielded triploid and aneuploid hybrids. The fruits of these hybrids combined the attractive appearance of Hylocereus fruits with the delicious taste of S. megalanthus fruits. The aim of this work was to assess the fertility and breeding potential of the triploid and aneuploid hybrids with a view to developing an improved vine cactus crop. Pollen mother cells at metaphase I revealed univalents, bivalents, trivalents, and occasionally quadrivalents. Chromosome distribution at anaphase I revealed different classes of chromosome segregation as well as lagging chromosomes. At metaphase II, parallel and tripolar spindles were observed. The occurrence of triads was frequent, whereas dyads were rarely observed. Pollen stainability varied among the clones studied ranging from 9.8% to 18.6%. The diameters of the stained pollen grains varied widely, probably as a result of the number of chromosomes. Despite the allotriploid origin of our hybrids, functional female and male gametes were produced in considerable proportions, most likely as a result of balanced chromosome segregation. The triploid and aneuploid clones studied yielded viable seeds whose number per fruit was strongly dependent on the pollen donor.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The study was supported in part by the UCLA-BGU Program of Academic Cooperation. The authors thank Mr. Joseph Mouyal (Ben-Gurion University of the Negev) for skillful technical assistance and Ms. Dorot Imber and Ms. Inez Mureinik (Ben-Gurion University of the Negev) for editing the manuscript.