, Volume 20, Issue 1, pp 54-74

Chromosome size and DNA content of species of anemone L. and related genera (Ranunculaceae)

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Relative amounts of DNA were determined by Feulgen cytophotometry in 22 diploid species of Ranunculaceae (n=7, 8, 9) representing six genera, and exhibiting large differences in chromosome size, but no marked differences in karyotype pattern. Chemical determination of absolute amounts of DNA for six of these species, allowed conversion of all the photometric data into absolute units of DNA. The mean DNA content per nucleus varied from.13×10−11gm in Aquilegia to 5.25×10−11gm in species of Anemone in the section Homalocarpus. The DNA values obtained appeared to be “quantized”, and data for the majority of species fitted a non-geometrical series with the observed relative terms: 1—8—12—16—20—24—40. The magnitude of these variations in DNA content, the preservation of the karyotype and the tendency towards a simple numerical progression in DNA values, lead us to prefer an interpretation of the evolution of DNA content in terms of differential polynemy to one postulating changes in size of genetic units in an unchanging number of strands per chromosome.