Journal of Genetics

, Volume 90, Issue 1, pp 21–30 | Cite as

Cytotaxonomical analysis of Momordica L. (Cucurbitaceae) species of Indian occurrence

  • A. D. MUNSHI
  • T. K. BEHERA
  • A. B. DAS
Research Article


Somatic chromosome number and detailed karyotype analysis were carried out in six Indian Momordica species viz. M. balsamina, M. charantia, M. cochinchinensis, M. dioica, M. sahyadrica and M. cymbalaria (syn. Luffa cymbalaria; a taxon of controversial taxonomic identity). The somatic chromosome number 2n = 22 was reconfirmed in monoecious species (M. balsamina and M. charantia). Out of four dioecious species, the chromosome number was reconfirmed in M. cochinchinensis (2n = 28), M. dioica (2n = 28) and M. subangulata subsp. renigera (2n = 56), while in M. sahyadrica (2n = 28) somatic chromosome number was reported for the first time. A new chromosome number of 2n = 18 was reported in M. cymbalaria against its previous reports of 2n = 16, 22. The karyotype analysis of all the species revealed significant numerical and structural variations of chromosomes. It was possible to distinguish chromosomes of M. cymbalaria from other Momordica species and also between monoecious and dioecious taxa of the genus. Morphology and crossability among the dioecious species was also studied. Evidence from morphology, crossability, pollen viability and chromosome synapsis suggests a segmental allopolyploid origin for M. subangulata subsp. renigera. The taxonomic status of the controversial taxon M. cymbalaria was also discussed using morphological, karyological and crossability data.


crossability karyotype phylogeny somatic chromosome number Momordica 


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Copyright information

© Indian Academy of Sciences 2011

Authors and Affiliations

    • 1
  • A. D. MUNSHI
    • 1
    • 2
    • 2
  • T. K. BEHERA
    • 1
  • A. B. DAS
    • 3
    • 4
    • 5
  1. 1.Division of Vegetable ScienceIndian Agricultural Research InstituteNew DelhiIndia
  2. 2.Division of GeneticsIndian Agricultural Research InstituteNew DelhiIndia
  3. 3.Molecular Cytogenetic Laboratory, Department of Agricultural Biotechnology, College of AgricultureOrissa University of Agriculture and TechnologyBhubaneswarIndia
  4. 4.National Bureau of Plant Genetic Resources, Regional StationThrissurIndia
  5. 5.Central Horticultural Experiment StationBhubaneswarIndia

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