, Volume 150, Issue 1–2, pp 207–214 | Cite as

Genetic Variability and Interrelationship Among Opium and its Alkaloids in Opium Poppy (Papaver Somniferum L.)

  • Hemant K. Yadav
  • S. Shukla
  • S. P. SinghEmail author


The plant species Papaver somniferum L. (opium poppy) is grown commercially in several countries under secure area to produce opium and its major alkaloids i.e. morphine, codeine, thebaine, narcotine and papaverine for pharmaceutical industries. In recent years the global demand for these alkaloids and its derivatives are growing. Seeing the global demand there is urgent need to develop high opium yielding varieties integrated with high specific alkaloids. However, a breeding programme focused on developing improved varieties requires knowledge about the genetic variability for the concern traits. Therefore the present investigation was undertaken to examine phenotypic and genotypic variability, broad sense heritability, genetic advance under selection and interrelationship of traits. A total of 122 accessions were found to be highly variables for all the traits studied. Broad sense heritability ranged from 74.18% (for opium yield/plant) to 99.00% (for papaverine content). Expected genetic advance was varied between 33.91% (for morphine content) and 257.46% (for papaverine content). Genetic correlation analysis revealed that opium yield is negatively correlated with morphine and papaverine content. Among alkaloids codeine, thebaine, narcotine and papaverine showed positive correlation among themselves. The correlations among alklaloids were justified based on the biosynthetic pathway of opium alkaloids.


alkaloids benzylisoquinoline correlation morphine Papaver somniferum 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of Genetics and Plant BreedingNational Botanical Research InstituteLucknowIndia

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