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Colchicine induced auto-tetraploids in periwinkle, Catharanthus roseus


, : Colchicine induced auto-tetraploids in periwinkle, Catharanthus roseus. Journal of Medicinal & Aromatic Plant Sciences 18(1): 38-45

Auto-tetraploids have been induced in four genotypes of Catharanthus roseus (2n = 16), a medicinally important apocyanaceous plants, following seed and shoot-tip treatments with colchicine. The auto-tetraploids exhibited initial slow growth, and gigantism over their diploid parents. Comparative morphological studies with respective diploids revealed quantitative enhancement in most of the determinate parts like plant height, stem girth, size of flowers, leaves, stomata, pollen grains and seeds, whereas a concomitant decrease was also observed in the magnitude of certain characters such as number of ramifications, frequency of stomata, pollen stainability, length of siliqa and seed-set. In the auto-tetraploids, quadrivalents, trivalents, bivalents and univalents ranged between 2 to 8, 1 to 3, 1 to 12 and 1 to 5, respectively, having pooled mean configuration as 4.45 IV + 0.49 III+5.72 II+0.55 I. On an average, 58.32% of the chromosomes per cell were involved in quadrivalent formation. No correlation was observed between pollen stainability and seed set. A considerable decrease in leaf dry matter yield was observed in all the auto-tetraploids whereas marginal increase in total leaf alkaloid content was recorded in only two auto-tetraploids (T-1 and T-4) over their respective diploids. Only one tetraploid (T-2) was found to be superior in terms of higher concentrations of catharanthine, vindoline and vincristine as compared not only to its diploid parent as well as over other auto-tetraploids. However, a decreasing trend in vinblastine concentration was observed in all the auto-tetraploids.

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