La determinación del sexo en Cícadas (Cycadales)

Lourdes Georgina Iglesias Andreu, Pablo Octavio Aguilar, Nadia Sánchez Coello, Ángela Baldo Romero, José Luis Casas Martínez

Resumen

Plants are organisms that offer unique reproductive systems to study sex determination, in other words, the expression of masculinity or femininity. Within the plant kingdom, the separation of sex has emerged over the evolutionary history in more than one hundred occasions. With each new phylogenetically-independent event there is a new reproductive system which may be similar or completely different from the previous system, so in plants there is not an only one mechanism to explain the dioecism. Cycads are a group of primitive dioecious plants that offers an extraordinary opportunity to study the emergence of dioecism in plant species. Several studies have shown that sex in cycads may be determined by homomorphic or heteromorphic sexual chromosomes; although the possibility of epigenetic factors influencing sex determination in these plants cannot be ruled out. The possibility to anticipate the sex of the cycads would allow us to establish management plans focused to the production of quality seeds in sufficient quantity to meet the demand for these ornamental plants.

Palabras clave

Cycads; Dioecism; Sexual differentiation; Evolution of reproductive systems

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.14198/cdbio.2012.39.02