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Chromosome numbers and polyploidy in Orobanche (Orobanchaceae)

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Chromosome numbers are reported for 48 collections representing ten species (and five subspecies) ofOrobanche of western North America. Two species of sect.Gymnocaulis have 2n = 48; previous counts are 2n = 36 and 72 for one of these species. In sect.Nothaphyllon eight species have 2n = 48 and three of these (O. cooperi, O. corymbosa, O. parishii) also have 2n = 96. One instance (2n = 72) of apparent intraspecific hybridization between the two polyploid levels was found inO. cooperi. The taxonomy ofO. cooperi and of the closely relatedO. multicaulis is discussed in relation to polyploidy. A review of chromosome numbers inOrobanche points to the need for corroboration of the reports of 2n = 36 and 40, as well as other specific counts. Probablyx = 12 for sectionsGymnocaulis, Nothaphyllon, andTrionychon. Derivation ofx = 19 for sect.Orobanche remains problematical.

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We thank those who contributed collections for this study, especially Edward Lee and Karen D. Cox, Robert Orduff for comments on the manuscript, and Mrs. Fei Mei Chuang for laboratory assistance.

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Heckard, L.R., Chuang, T.I. Chromosome numbers and polyploidy in Orobanche (Orobanchaceae). Brittonia 27, 179–186 (1975).

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