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Phylogeny of Papaver Somniferum Research Paper

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Updated: May 15th, 2022


Popov (1970) pointed out that Papaver somniferum is a useful species posing benefit among other plants belonging to the genus Papaver. Many scientists have identified that focus to this plant species is vital for economical and ethnobotanical purposes. Mutations of the original plants belonging to the order magnoliopsida developed two distinct orders namely Papaverales and Asterales. Papaver somniferum, also referred to as opium poppy, arose from the order Papaverales under the family Papaveraceae. This plant has retained fame from its harmful effects and many medical uses. The earliest publication on uses of opium poppy was in Europe. However, the plant and its medicinal effects were identifiable since 3400 BCE where it was cropped in lower Mesopotamia. The medical effects are relevant because the plant was identified as ‘joy plant’. It has alternated simple and ovate leaves, terminus flowers, fruit with a white fluid, height ranging between half to one and a half meter, varied colors of leaves and slight stem branching. Although growing of this plant has been recognized illegal, it has a strong history of cultivation in most Asian countries. It has narcotic properties that render the subject unconscious when used excessively. Also, it provides a feeling of muscles relaxation which makes it prove to abuse. Poppy seed are grounded to prepare porridge since they have high contents of ions (Ca2+), (CH2O)ns, and proteins (Gleissberg and Kadereit 1999). Publications proves that scientist have paid attention to the phylogeny of this species to identify its true lines of origin. They have traced the DNA and morphological similarities to confirm its evolutionary lines.


Researchers have performed systematic approaches to reveal the phylogeny of Papaver somniferum. In so doing, they have researched and published journals to facilitate distribution of their findings. Hoot et al. (1997) combined data from various taxonomic groups when selecting taxon of plants belonging to the family Papaveraceae. Also, Hoot et al. (1997) performed molecular studies by isolating DNA and amplifying it to determine the closest members of the family. This study was performed on atpB and rbcL genes. Lastly, they identified the morphological characters that distinguished the identified plants further. The data collected from these methods were analyzed through use of branch and bound strategy. They used PAUP to bootstrap their analysis since there were huge replications of data. After making the grouped analysis of each method, they combined and evaluated the data sets using homogeneity test. Finally, quantitative and logical analyses were tabled to create phylogenies of several species of Papaveraceae including Papaver somniferum.

Kadereit et al. (1994) performed morphological studies on the family Papaveraceae. Their research collected thirty nine distinguishing characters and used PAUP program to evaluate the classifications of the plant. Calculations regarding decomposition indices were performed to root the relations that were comparable in the shortest plants. However, computational methods lead to restriction of calculations for tree beyond 3 steps.

The research performed by Kadereit and Claudia (2011) made a combination of ontogenetic and phylogenic strategies to distinguish the plants of Papaver genus. They evaluated the ontogeny of various genera and used a phylogenic identified organism to compare their findings. Their research involved fixing of flower buds in ethanol and formalin. The buds were, then, dehydrated and scanned using an electron microscope which facilitated comprehensive study of the substituent characters.

Later on, Kadereit et al. (1996) chose 32 taxa from 4 genera to perform a phylogenic study. On this research, I identified that their approach had presented the most conspicuous phylogenic methods. The analysis aimed at investigating a tree to relate 4 genera namely Papaver, Roemeria, Stylomecon and Meconopsis. They, then, identified 3 species to serve as out-groups using RFLP analysis. They listed the characters of all species under studies and analyzed them comprehensively. A record was made regarding origination of leaf materials and deposition of voucher specimens. To exemplify this, the table below shows how data was analyzed and recorded.

Species Origin Voucher specimen
Argemone Mexicana L. Wild origin unknown, cultivated Botanischer Garten (BG) At place of cultivation
Eschscholzia californica CHAM wild origin unknown, cultivated
BG Univ. Mainz
At place of cultivation
Meconopsis aculeata ROYLE Kashmir, cultivated J. CoBB No voucher
M. betonicifolia FRANCH Wild origin unknown, cultivated J. COBB No voucher
M. cambrica (L.) VIG wild origin unknown, cultivated BG Univ. Mainz At place of cultivation

Also, they made DNA isolates and amplified them to facilitate testing. Characteristics were retrieved from RFLP of chloroplasts that contained amplified PCR. This DNA was subjected to digestive enzymes which provoked formation of fragments. The enzymes that were used during this process included BsaBI, BsaBI, DraI and BstUI among others. After electrophoresis and staining, mapping of restrictive sections was performed. Finally, they performed analytical cladistics using PAUP 3.1.1. Other computational strategies, such as NULPARS, TBR and 50 RANDOM were used to determine the origin and roots of plant evolution. They were used to analyze weighted and un-weighted parsimony. Concurrently, calculations regarding the most parsimonious cladograms, CI and RI were configured accurately. Also, fifty replicates were utilized to bootstrap data and provide evidence for the distinct clades. Lastly, alternate topology of the cladograms was evaluated with ease and use of computer program referred to as MacClade 3.0. It was clear that the combination of weighted and un-weighted analysis strengthened the accuracy of the resulting tree. It was noted the earlier research was not fully reliable like the strict and majority rule that proves to be the best.

In 1999, Schwarzbach and Kadereit selected a taxa and an out-group by using parsimony and delimited species of Argemone. They condensed information on morphology and species distribution in the globe. This involved twenty four species and 43 individual plants. Also, there was a field trip that investigated living plant to collect the morphological characters of the plants. After this study, molecular identification was commenced by extraction and amplification. The DNA retrieved was used to perform a series of reaction. These reactions were aimed at breaking down the sequences and facilitating studies of the constituent amino acids. Analysis of the sequences was facilitated by the SeqEd 1.0.3. The mutations that lead to changes of the organisms were identified and pronounced for every learner. Non-DNA characters were isolated from the literature and incorporated to the researchers mind for further development. This research has, also, supported Kadereit’s findings in 1996.

Results and Conclusions

Perez-Gutierrez (2012) ILD test did not manage to raise any conclusive result. Therefore, the results that were stipulated were based on assumptions and not facts since they were not supported. In 1999, Schwarzbach and Kadereit identified that there were 272 nucleotide positions in the structure of DNA studied. This strategy formulated 840 cladograms. Srivastava and Lavania (1999) results shown that 2C DNA complements ranged from 4.64 pg in Papaver persicum which had fourteen diploid chromosomes to 22.43 pg in Papaver orientale (diploid chromosomes = forty two). However, Carolan (2006) research was more conclusive and directed research among some others mentioned in this research. It was able to mark the evolutionary line of several genera belonging to distinct families. It was able to identify that Meconopsis, Meconella and Argemonidium were clade sisters of the plants belonging to the genus Papaver. Morphological relationship, such as capsular of P. californicum and Meconopsis, supports the tree structure. The capsules identified have been seen in other species such as M. discigera. Incase Papaver s. str. Arose from Menocopsis, it would be hard to determine the sister taxon related to this genera. Therefore, the route that is providing identification to the species of interest (Papaver somniferum) mandated the opportunity to determine the tree. In fact, failure to identify some genetic codes in plants with almost similar morphological characters implied that there were environmental characters that lead to the distinction before the family level. In summary, the tree established in this case have presented genetic and morphologically traits to support the placement of Papaver somniferum.

The research that was performed by Hoot et al. (1997) provided the outrageous and parsimonious tree. Its consistency had remarkable qualities of identification to Papaver. Also, the morphological data lead to creation of 12 trees. These trees included Papaver somniferum and its evolutionary history. However, the standard of this tree was not satisfactory. Kadereit et al. (1994) created twenty four parsimony cladograms with one hundred and thirty two steps. Roots that had been isolated were determined to be sister of Papaveraceae s.l. and not an out-group. The results of Kadereit (1996) revealed the presence of 4 gynoecia. The researcher was able to make a comprehensive differentiation on the species in terms of gynoecia. For instance, it was described that the gynoecia of Papaver californicum have similar ontogenetic traits with P. rhoeas. Kadereit et al, (1996) managed to raise two hundred and sixty seven traits from RFLP analysis. Seventy three of these traits were determine to be informative. Fitch parsimony analysis created a hundred and forty four steps of one sixty phylogenic trees. M. cambrica transfer to the related sister groups where they are monophyletic and needs 8 and 4 steps. Also, ITS nrDNA provided intimate support to the elimination of paraphyletic group the old phylogeny tree. For instance, Asian Meconopsis and Papaver s.l, Roemeria and Papaver and M. cambrica placement in the Papaver s.l among others were not appropriate. The monophyletic grouping that arose from this research provided a complete and less questionable tree. The veins present on the pseudodorsal section of the ovary and capsule determine Papaver s. l to be paraphyletic when compared to M. cambrica.

Finally, identification of organisms relies on systematic research and analysis of previous researches. A researcher with desires to excel must pay particulate attention to studies and ensure that all scientific components are studied with utmost passion. Additionally, it is the desires to reveal ideas that drives scientist into action. In so doing, more questions raises and calls for review and determination of upcoming researcher to identify the knowledge that is yet to be identified. The globe comprise of many medicinal or useful plant that are potential in the society. If we investigate to determine the genes that lead to their useful natures, we could traces all the plants that are vital in the community. Also, it will be possible to eliminate the losses we undergo after people and animals use poisonous plants as food.

Works Cited

Carolan, James, Ingrid Hook, Mark Chase, Joachim Kadereit and Trevor Hodkinson. “Phylogenetics of Papaver and Related Genera Based on DNA Sequences from ITS Nuclear Ribosomal DNA and Plastid trnL Intron and trnL Intergenic Spacers.” Annals of Botany 98.7 (2006): 141-155. Print.

Gleissberg, Stefan and Joachim Kadereit. “Evolution of Leaf Morphogenesis: Evidence from Developmental and Phylogenetic Data in Papaveraceae.” Plant Science 160.4 (1999): 787-794. Print.

Hoot, Sara, Joachim Kadereit, Frank Blattner, Andrea Schwarzbach and Peter Crane. “Phylogenetics of Papaver and Related Genera Based on DNA Sequences from ITS Nuclear Ribosomal DNA and Plastid trnL Intron and trnL-F Intergenic Spacers.” Annals of Botany 22.3 (1997): 575-590. Print.

Kadereit, Joachim and Claudia Erbar. “Evolution of Gynoecium Morphology in Old World Papaveroideae: A Combined Phylogenetic/Ontogenetic Approach.” American Journal of Botany 98.8 (2011): 1243-1251. Print.

Kadereit, Joachim, Andrea Schwarzbach and Kirstin Jork. “The phylogeny of Papaver s. I. (Papaveraceae): polyphyly or monophyly?” Plant Systematics and Evolution 204.4 (1997): 75-98. Print.

Kadereit, Joachim, Frank Blattner, Kirstin Jork and Andrea Schwarzbach. “Utilization of Papaver.” Economic Botany 116.3 (1994): 361-390. Print.

Perez-Gutierrez, Miguel, Ana Romero-Garcia, Maria Salinas, Gabriel Blanca, Carmen Fernandez and Victor Suarez-Santiago. “Phylogeny of the Tribe Fumarieae (Papaveraceae S.L.) Based on Chloroplast and Nuclear DNA Sequences: Evolutionary and Biogeographic Implications.” American Journal of Botany 99.3 (2012): 517-528. Print.

Popov, Mac. “Flora of the U.S.S.R.” Program for Scientific Translations 7.3 (1970): 500-613. Print.

Schwarzbach, Andrea and Joachim Kadereit. “Phylogeny of prickly poppies, Argemone (Papaveraceae), and the evolution of morphological and alkaloid characters based on ITS nrDNA sequence variation.” Plant Systematics and Evolution 218.12 (1999): 257-279. Print.

Srivastana, Sangeeta and Lavania Uc. “Evolutionary DNA variation in Papaver.” Genome 34.15 (1991): 763-768. Print.

Sugiura, Thomas. “Chromosome Studies on Papaveraceae with Special Reference to the Phylogeny.” Advancement of Cytology 37.24 (1939): 558-576. Print.

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