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Improved evaluation method for reliable distinction of poppy (Papaver somniferum L.) cultivars
Published May 24, 1999

Investigating seven Hungarian standard cultivars (i.e. 'A1’, 'Kék Gemona', '13C-2`,'Kék Duna', `Kompolti M’, `Gödi N',

'Kozmosz) it was proved that for the reliable distinction between cultivars a complex analysis is necessitated. Because of the large morpho­phenological and production-biological plasticity of the species qualit...ative and quantitative features as well as alkaloid accumulation characters have to be evaluated simultaneously applying discriminant analysis.

It was proved by the investigations that some of the qualitative and quantitative characters included into the DUS evaluation procedure have slight importance for reliable distinction. As an example the majority of cultivars show high inhomogentity in such characters like the shape of stigmatic disc, the number of stigmatic lobes etc. Furthermore these characters never had been chosen for the goal of any practical selection and are modified by the weather conditions as well.

In the evaluation process the alkaloid accumulation characteristics (both qualitative and quantitative ones) have to be evaluated on a higher rank. For instance the high accumulation level of morphine in cv. 'A1' (10.5 %o), exceptionally high narcotine accumulation in 'Kék Gemona' (7.8 %o), or the low morphine accumulation level in cv. 'Kozmosz' (1.1 %o) proved to be proper characters for their distinction, alone. However, at the same time the weather conditions existing at the time of experiment have to be taken into consideration. From practical point of view, the years rich in precipitation and poor in sunshine are less suitable for distinction of cultivars selected for higher alkaloid accumulation, especially for production of codeine and thebaine characterized by a higher methylation level. Based on the example of 'Kék Gemona', the accumulation level of morphine decreases from 7.4 %o to 4.1 %o under such conditions, while thebaine and codeine disappear, practically.


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