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Open Access Open Badges Methodology article

Improved efficiency of doubled haploid generation in hexaploid triticale by in vitro chromosome doubling

Tobias Würschum1*, Matthew R Tucker2, Jochen C Reif1 and Hans Peter Maurer1

Author affiliations

1 State Plant Breeding Institute, University of Hohenheim, Stuttgart 70593, Germany

2 ARC Centre of Excellence for Plant Cell Walls, University of Adelaide, Waite Campus, Adelaide, Urrbrae SA 5064, Australia

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Citation and License

BMC Plant Biology 2012, 12:109  doi:10.1186/1471-2229-12-109

Published: 18 July 2012



Doubled haploid production is a key technology in triticale research and breeding. A critical component of this method depends on chromosome doubling, which is traditionally achieved by in vivo treatment of seedlings with colchicine.


In this study we investigated the applicability of an in vitro approach for chromosome doubling based on microspore culture. Our results show a pronounced increase in the proportion of doubled haploid triticale plants compared to the spontaneous doubling rate, but also compared to the doubling obtained by the standard in vivo approach. In addition, the frequency of plants surviving from culture medium to maturity is also much higher for the in vitro approach. Colchicine concentrations of 1 mM for 24 h or 0.3 mM applied for 48 or 72 h during the first hours of microspore culture performed best.


Our results suggest that for triticale, in vitro chromosome doubling is a promising alternative to the in vivo approach.