Molecular Breeding

, Volume 26, Issue 4, pp 619–626 | Cite as

Gene frequency-based estimation of natural outcrossing in opium poppy (Papaver somniferum L.)

  • Birendra KumarEmail author
  • N. K. Patra


Mating systems are generally thought to be important factors in determining the amount and nature of genetic variability in a population. Nearly 1,000 individuals at a single location (Lucknow) and over two years were crossed and subsequently scored for selfing versus outcrossing in 9–10 monohybrid populations of opium poppy (Papaver somniferum). Three different alleles of two marker loci (two—R/r and P/p—for anthocyanin locus and B/b for capsule size locus) were used to determine the male gametes that had effected fertilizations in F2 recessives (rr, pp and bb). The estimates of the gene frequency-based outcrossing parameter (α) were found to vary with year, cross and marker locus used (α range: 7.21–71.03%). Study of the two dihybrid crosses concerning the two marker loci simultaneously, further confirmed that outcrossing at the R/r or P/p locus was significantly greater than that at the B/b locus. The nature of the outcrossing was, in general, nonrandom. In this species, in general, selfing predominated, with one exception in respect of monohybrid crosses involving the purple form of anthocyanin locus, in which outcrossing predominated.


Mating system Nonrandom Outcrossing Heterogeneity Outcrossing rate Papaver somniferum Selfing 



The authors are thankful to Dr. S.P.S. Khanuja, Director, CIMAP, Lucknow, for providing the necessary facilities during the investigation. They are also very grateful to Prof. (Dr.) S. L. Basak, Ex-Director of C.R.I.J.A.F. (ICAR), West Bengal, for giving valuable suggestions on up-grading the paper, and to P. Christou and anonymous reviewers for valuable comments and improving the manuscript.


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Central Institute of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants (CSIR), CIMAPLucknowIndia

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