Injection of 0.5% colchicine into immature tillers of genotypes of Triticum aestivum, T. aestivum x Aegilops mutica and T. aestivum x Secale cereale hybrids induces asynapsis at first meiotic metaphase irrespective of the homologous or homoeologous nature of the potential pairing chromosomes. The induction of asynapsis occurs at a time during and immediately following the last premeiotic mitosis of pollen mother cells. No disruption of synapsis and chiasma formation occurs in anthers having pollen mother cells originally at leptotene or immediately prior to leptotene when cultured in White's medium plus colchicine. Tetraploid and octaploid pollen mother cells resulting from the disruption of premeiotic spindles by colchicine show pairing of chromosomes only in bivalents, in genotypes normally having a degree of multivalent pairing configurations. The induction of multipolar mitotic spindles with 0.01% colchicine results in the development of pollen mother cell mosaics with different numbers of chromosomes. Such cells show high levels of chromosome pairing, including multivalents, in some genotypes that normally have very little chromosome pairing. The injection of 0.5% chloral hydrate during the last premeiotic mitosis of the archesporium causes no disturbances of meiotic pairing. The results are discussed with reference to the hypothesis that the control mechanism of meiotic chromosome pairing involves centromeric microtubules of the spindle (not affected by chloral hydrate) that are responsible for the positional adjustment, during the last mitotic anaphase, of potential pairing partners.

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