Chromosomal and genome size variations in Opium poppy (Papaver somniferum L.) from Afghanistan


  • Sayed Zia Rasekh Department of Plant Genetics and Breeding, College of Agriculture, Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran P. O. Box 14115-336
  • Ghasem Karimzadeh Department of Plant Genetics and Breeding, College of Agriculture, Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran P. O. Box 14115-336



Papaver somniferum, Chromosome, 2Cx DNA, Flow cytometry, Balkh province, Afghanitan


The genus Papaver classified in the Papaveraceae family, is a valuable, non-alternative medicinal plant which has illustrated a massive variety of pharmacologically important alkaloids. Chromosomal and monoploid genome size diversity of seven populations collected from different districts of Balkh Province in northern parts of Afghanistan were studied. All populations were diploid, six of which (P1-P6) had 22 chromosomes, while P7 had 20 larger chromosomes. The mean chromosome length (CL) of P1-P6 populations was 1.32 μm (0.91-1.74 μm), but that of P7 population was 2.24 μm. The results of flow cytometric analysis showed that the mean monoploid 2Cx DNA of P1-P6 populations was 5.701 pg (5.574-5.901 pg), whereas that of P7 population was 5.795 pg, confirming intraspecific variation. This study is being reported for the first time from the northern part of Afghanistan’s opium cultivation area, and P7 population is also being reported for the first time in terms of chromosome number. Valuable information on Cytogenetics can be used in some research fields, including polygenetic analysis, taxonomic relationships, evolutionary characteristics, and plant breeding.


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How to Cite

Rasekh, S. Z., & Karimzadeh, G. (2024). Chromosomal and genome size variations in Opium poppy (Papaver somniferum L.) from Afghanistan. Caryologia, 76(4), 15–22.