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Abstract

The paper reports meiotic studies on 50 populations comprising 12 species belonging to 5 genera of Caryophyllaceae from the Western Himalayas. The chromosome numbers in Arenaria kashmirica (n=20), Silene conoidea (n=20), S. edgeworthii (n=12 and n=24), S. moorcroftiana (n=24), S. nepalensis (n=12), Stellaria media (n=13), S. monosperma (n=13) and S. semivestita (n=13) are reported for the first time. The chromosome numbers in Lychnis coronaria (n=12) and Silene vulgaris (n=24) are given for the first time from India, along with Gypsophilla ceratioides (n=15) from the Western Himalayas. The course of meiosis varies from normal to abnormal in different populations of Silene conoidea, S. edgeworthii, S. vulgaris, Stellaria media, S. monosperma and S. semivestita. The course of meiosis was abnormal in all studied populations of Lychnis coronaria. Abnormal microsporogenesis (cytomixis, chromosomal stickiness, unoriented bivalents, formation of laggards and bridges) led to reduced pollen fertility and differences in pollen grain size.
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