|Authors: ||A. Dittbrenner, U. Lohwasser, H.-P. Mock, A. Börner|
|Keywords: ||AFLP, alkaloids, descriptor, HPLC, poppy, taxonomical classification|
The infraspecific classification of the well known opium poppy (Papaver somniferum, Papaveraceae) is based on a few morphological characters such as capsule dehiscence, shape of stigmatic lobes, and colour of flowers and seeds.
But the application of these characters is associated with some problems.
For instance, it is difficult to distinguish between round and angular stigmatic lobes and there may be different seed colours in the capsules of one plant.
A total of 300 accessions of our genebank collection from nearly all over the world was cultivated under field conditions in Gatersleben in three different years for morphological characterisation.
Amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) was used to analyse the genetic diversity and to investigate the relationship between these botanical varieties according to their taxonomic classification.
Preliminary results showed that all tetraploid P. somniferum subsp. setigerum accessions form one cluster, while the diploid accessions from subsp. somniferum and subsp. songaricum were intermixed.
Furthermore, the composition and content of the five main alkaloids (morphine, codeine, thebaine, papaverine, and noscapine) was analysed by high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). There is a highly significant correlation between total content of alkaloids and morphine (r=0.926/P=0.000). This analysis showed that the amount and composition of the main alkaloids are highly variable.
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