A Karyological Study in Some Species of Coffea L. and in the Closest Relative Psilanthus travancorensis (Wight & Arn.) J.-F. Leroy

Chromosome characterization were carried out in Coffea kapakata A. Chev (Bridson), C. racemosa Lour., C. salvatrix Swynn. & Philipson and in Psilanthus travancorensis (Wight & Arn.) J.-F. Leroy (2n=22) by employing the conventional acetic orcein technique as well as by C- and NOR-banding aiming further comparative studies. Although C. canephora and C. dewevrei have already been studied and depict a C-band karyotype, they have also been included for further comparisons, since NOR-banding and some other morphometric data have not been obtained yet. However, there were observed some differences among the species regarding chromosomal morphometry. The karyotype formula obtained was 3m+6sm+2sms for C. salvatrix and P. travancorensis, 1M +2m + 6sm + 2sms for C. kapakata and 2M +1m + 6sm + 2sms for C. racemosa. All species displayed a moderate karyotype asymmetry and according to Stebbins system, C. canephora, C. dewevrei, C. kapakata and C. racemosa were classified as 3B while C. salvatrix and P. travancorensis were classified as 2A. Among the four indices used to assess karyotype asymmetry, Paszko AI index along with Stebbins were best suited to individualize the species. C-bands were preferentially situated at a pericentromeric/centromeric position. Two pairs of chromosomes, with secondary constriction and satellite segments, were observed in all the species following acetic orcein staining. C. racemosa and C. salvatrix showed NOR-band in both pairs, while only one chromosome pair carrying NOR-band was seen in C. canephora, C. dewevrei, C. kapakata and P. travancorensis. Data on chromosome morphometry, asymmetry indices and NOR-banding were suitable for the characterization of the species.

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