M.R.A. Samuel, P. de A. Gurusinghe, W.S. Alles, S.T.W. Kirinde
In a programme of crop improvement seven wild species of Piper, namely P. argyrophyllum, P. attenuatum, P. chuvya, P. sylvestre, P. thwaiteseii, P. trineuron, P. zeylanicum and an economically important species, P. longum, found in Sri Lanka, were compared morphologically, anatomically, cytologically and biochemically with the cultivated species. P. nigrum and P. betle. The first records of the chromosome number in six of the wild species and in P. longum was 26 while in P. thwaiteseii it was 39. Each cultivated species had 52 chromosomes. These studies suggest a basic chromosome number of 13 for the genus Piper. Meiotic behaviour was normal in P. nigrum with a high ratio of bivalents.

Paper chromatograms of methanolic leaf extracts from different species yielded 20 phenolic spots. One of these phenolic spots was common and therefore constitutes a useful chemotaxonomic marker for the genus Piper. The percentage of oil, oil constituents, oleoresin and piperine in the local selections of P. nigrum tended to be greater than in the two introductions and in the other species of Piper. The significance of these results for the breeding and crop improvement of P. nigrum is discussed.

Samuel, M.R.A., Gurusinghe, P. de A., Alles, W.S. and Kirinde, S.T.W. (1986). GENETIC DIVERSITY AND CROP IMPROVEMENT IN PEPPER (PIPER NIGRUM). Acta Hortic. 188, 117-124
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.1986.188.13

Acta Horticulturae