The article presents the main discoveries of Prof. Andrzej K. Tarkowski, which proved to be fundamental for modern mammalian developmental biology and also for progress in animal breeding and assisted reproduction. Among his achievements the most important are: the demonstration of regulative abilities of blastomeres isolated from early mammalian embryos, generation of first chimaeric mice, studies on mammalian parthenogenesis and establishment of blastomere electrofusion technique for production of tetraploid embryos. Studies on nucleocytoplasmic interactions in germ cells and early embryos contributed substantially to the development of mammalian cloning. Prof. Tarkowski’s work and discoveries provided a tremendous input to the contemporary developmental biology of mammals.
Our cytomorphological study of various populations of Elsholtzia ciliata (Lamiaceae) collected from high-altitude sites of Kashmir Himalaya revealed two euploid cytomorphotypes, diploid (n=8) and tetraploid (n=16), growing sympatrically but inhabiting two different habitats. This is the first report of tetraploid (4×) E. ciliata from the Indian subcontinent. We found the course of meiois to be normal in diploids, but tetraploid individuals showed chromosome and meiotic irregularities: cytomixis at early prophase I, stickiness at metaphase I, and chromosome bridges at anaphase I. In tetraploids, 23 of the 26 pollen mother cells observed at metaphase I showed 0-6 quadrivalents, suggesting that the tetraploid is a segmental allopolyploid. Microsporogenesis was also abnormal in tetraploids, showing the formation of triads. All these anomalies are conducive to lower reproductive potential (40.70%) in tetraploids than in diploids (90.50%). Significant morphological differences between the two cytotypes are presented.