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Four tetraploid forms of the Solanum L. section Solanum (Maurella) were selected with a view to determining the phyletic relationship among them, as revealed by crossability studies and by the chromosome pairing behavior of the hybrids. The cytomorphology of S. villosum Mill., S. luteum Mill., the Indian tetraploid S. nigrum L., and S. relroflexum Dun. was studied. Crosses were made in all possible combinations. It was found that the F1 hybrids were normal, showed mostly regular meiosis, and set fruits and seeds spontaneously. However, the F2 progenies of the crosses where S. retroflexum was one of the parents showed irregular meiosis and hybrid weakness. The hybrid breakdown in the F2 generation could be due to genetic disharmony of the parental genomes. From the crossability and cytogenetical studies it is concluded that S. luteum Mill., S. villosum Mill., and S. nigrum L. (4x) are conspecific and represent a single biological species—S. villosum Mill. The distinction of S. retroflexum Dun. as a separate species is justified.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Botany, Bharathidasan University


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