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Investigations were conducted to identify types of seedlings occurring in Telfairia occidentalis (Hook F.). Attempts were made to trace their origins. Multiple embryos were observed to occur on the embryonic axis in separate and conjoined forms. A set of completely independent twins was found. Morphological differences between the primary shoot and the additional shoots from the same seed were not significantly different (P>0.05). Genetic studies revealed that all individuals originating from one seed were of the same sex, regardless of location. Chromosome number, 2n = 24 was recorded for all individuals of the separate and conjoined types and those arising from the cotyledons as well. The occurrence of separate seedling may be due to monozygotic cleavage of the embryo. Conjoined seedlings may have arisen as a result of post zygotic proliferation of the embryo. Origin of the independent twin seedlings is yet to be studied. Polyembryony was apparently post germinal in conjoined seedlings but suspected to be pre- germinal in the completely separate seedlings.
Journal of Applied Chemistry and Agricultural Research Vol. 7 2000-2001: pp. 17-25