Goldback fern chromosomes!

Goldback fern chromosomes!

Under Alan Smith‘s tutelage, over the last few weeks I (Keir) have been learning the science and art of meiotic chromosome counting; from selecting and harvesting material at the right stage (it is so easy to catch sporangia just a little too late) to getting the right combination of blotting, tapping, and pressing, I have learned so much AND had some excellent luck! I also feel super lucky to have access to irrigated material at this time of year from Regional Parks Botanic Garden (up at Tilden)!

Mature frond of tetraploid Pentagramma viscosa (?), or more likely 4x P. triangularis crossed with P. ??. Note the golden, bioflavonoid-rich farina, and dark sporangia along the veins.

Today Alan and I counted our first Pentagramma tetraploid (2= 60II)! It was identified as P. viscosa, but it looks more like a P. triangularis to me…

Tetraploid P. viscosa (?); 2n = 60II. More likely 4x P. triangularis x something else.
Diploid P. pallida; 2n = 30II











…we’ll see upon closer inspection what the subgenomes have to say for themselves.



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