The Importance of Polyploidy in Meconopsis with Particular Reference to the Big Perennial Blue Poppies

Ian McNaughton


A comparison is made between evolution of the genus Meconopsis through natural selection, which takes a long time, and rapid evolution through polyploidy. The possible formation of the tetraploid Meconopsis grandis from the diploid M. baileyiis considered in detail. The possibility of an extended diploid to hexaploid chromosome series in the ‘Big Blue Poppies’ is discussed. Each component of the series is described. The formation of Meconopsis 'Linghol' as an example of a probable new hexaploid species with its evolution through somatic chromosome doubling is considered in detail. The possibiliity of pentaploids, a new ploidy level or cytotype in the proposed series, is discussed with putative examples. A glossary of terms used is provided.

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