, Volume 145, Issue 3-4, pp 291-309

Cytotaxonomy and breeding system of the genusBiscutella (Cruciferae)

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Chromosome counts were determined for 46 populations ofBiscutella representing 28 taxa. The genus was found to contain diploid taxa with 2n = 12, 16 and 18, tetraploid taxa with 2n = 36 and hexaploid taxa having 2n = 54.B. laevigata L. s. l. consists of diploid and tetraploid populations which are poorly differentiated morphologically. TetraploidB. laevigata s. l. and hexaploidB. variegata Boiss. & Reuter (s. l.) are characterized by chromosomal instability. The variation in chromosome numbers and the occurrence of polyploidy is discussed in relation to the taxonomy of the genus. An investigation of the breeding system showed that most of the annual species were self-compatible and partly inbreeding and most of the perennial species self-incompatible and, therefore, outbreeding, while one annual species,B. cichoriifolia Loisel., showed both systems.