Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 525698
Title Nutmeg cultivation and its sex-problem : an agronomical and cytogenetical study of the dioecy in Myristica fragrans Houtt. and Myristica argentea Warb.
Author(s) Flach, M.
Source University. Promotor(en): R. Prakken; J.D. Ferwerda. - Wageningen : Veenman - 86
Publication type Dissertation, internally prepared
Publication year 1966
Keyword(s) myristica fragrans - muskaatnoten - nutmegs
Categories Spices
Abstract Indonesia produced 60 %, Grenada 40 % of the 5600 tons of nutmeg (the dry shelled seeds) and 1400 tons of mace (the dry arillus) of the tropical rain forest tree Myristica fragrans. Restriction of male flowering trees to 10 % and spacing at 9 metres would rise yields per ha sharply above the usual 800 kg nutmeg and 160 kg mace, at 2000 fruits per female tree.

In Grenada air-layering and approach-grafting, although expensive, were developed for practical use. In New Guinea the tree showed a 1:1 segregation into a female-only flowering sex, with strong correlation between production and stem girth, and a male-flowering sex, mostly bearing also female flowers and fruits.

Investigations for a visible chromosomal sex mechanism showed 44 (2n) nearly isodiametric chromosomes (0.4-1.0μ) and 'non-localized' centromeres. Breakage of chromosomes by X-rays produced persisten fragments, proving nutmeg to be the first dicotyledon with diffuse centromeres.

The hypothesis was developed that nutmeg had four pairs of sex chromosomes. The heterogametic female had four facultative nucleolar sex chromosomes, in meiosis orientated by the nucleolus. The variation in female flowering was explained by partial failure of orientation. If proved, the hypothesis offered opssibilities for sexing young seedlings and improvement by breeding.

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