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Induction of Polyploidy in Chilli (Capsicum annuum L.) by Colchicine


THE discovery by Blakeslee1 in 1937 that treatment with colchicine induces doubling of chromosomes in plant cells, leading to the production of polyploids, is of practical importance to the breeder who is faced with the problem of sterility in hybrids from wide crosses, arising from the different material constitution of the chromosomes of the parents. Except in those cases where sexual propagation made possible their utilization, it has not hitherto been possible to take full advantage of such crosses. The results of experiments so far carried out with colchicine, although mostly of a preliminary nature, have raised hopes of producing vigorous fertile forms from sterile hybrids, and several workers, notably Dermen2 (1938), Nebel and Ruttle3 (1938), Levan4 (1938) and Kostoff5 (1938), have repeated the experiments of Blakeslee and reported favourably regarding the efficacy of this alkaloid in producing polyploids.

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  1. Blakeslee, A. F., and Avery, A. G., J. Hered., 28, 393–412 (1937).

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  2. Dermen, H., J. Hered., 29, 211–229 (1938).

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  3. Nebel, B. R., and Ruttle, M. L., J. Hered., 29, 3–9 (1938).

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  4. Levan, A., Hereditas, 24, 471–486 (1938).

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  5. Kostoff, D., Curr. Sci., 6, 549–552 (1938).

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PAL, B., RAMANUJAM, S. Induction of Polyploidy in Chilli (Capsicum annuum L.) by Colchicine. Nature 143, 245–246 (1939).

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