Date of this Version
American Journal of Botany (1997) 84(2).
Andropogon gerardii, big bluestem, has 60 and 90 chromosome cytotypes. Meiosis in the hexaploid was shown to be regular, although some secondary associations of bivalents form. Meiosis in the enneaploid (2n = 9x = 90) is irregular, leading to most gametes having unbalanced chromosome complements. Both cytotypes show considerable self-incompatibility. Cytotypes crossed freely, forming a variety of fertile euploids and aneuploids. Indistinguishable exomorphology, intermixing in natural populations, and compatibility suggest that A. gerardii is best understood as a cytotypically complex single species.