list of some agricultural crops and animals
with their diploid chromosome number

The chromosome number is one of the primary basis of hybridization in agricultural crops as well as in animals. The diploid numbers of chromosomes are essentially constant within the same species. It is an important topic of review in basic plant breeding. 

Chromosome number generally differs among plant species.Illustration of the physical structure of the chromosome

It is the general rule that successful crosses are easier to achieve between individual plants under the same species rather than between different species under the same genus (interspecific cross). Consequently, it is more difficult to produce an intergeneric hybrid. In sum, individuals which are closely related taxonomically are much more easier to cross. 

However, it is not the diploid chromosome number alone that determines the ability of two parents to readily form a hybrid. Main determinant is the karyotype, referring to the number, as well as the size and shape of the chromosomes of an individual. Other considerations are the types of sex chromosomes, lethal genes, and polyploidy. 

Listed in the table below are the diploid chromosome numbers of some agricultural crops and various animal species.  Sources of the information are provided.

Chromosome Number of Selected Species

Table CN-1. Diploid numbers of chromosomes of some crop and animal species.

Alfalfa Medicago sativa 32 2
Avocado Persea americana 24 4
Barley Hordeum vulgare 14 2,3
Bermudagrass Cynodon dactylon 36 2
Broad bean Vicia faba 12 3
Cashew Anacardium occidentale 42 4
Corn (maize) Zea mays 20 1,3
Cotton, American-Egyptian Gossypium barbadense 52 2
Cotton, upland Gossypium hirsutum 52 2,3
Durian Durio zibethinus 56 4
Flax Linum usitatissimum 30 2
Garden pea Pisum sativum 14 1,3
Grape Vitis vinifera 38 4
Guava Psidium guajava 22 4
Kidney bean Phaseolus vulgaris 22 3
Mango Mangifera indica 40 4
Oats, white Avena sativa 42 2
Oats, red Avena byzantina 42 2
Onion Allium cepa 16 3
Papaya Carica papaya 18 4
Peanut Arachis hypogaea 40 2
Pineapple Ananas comosus 50 4
Potato Solanum tuberosum 48 2,3
Rice Oryza sativa 24 2,3
Rye Secale cereale 14 2
Sorghum Sorghum vulgare 20 2
Soybean Glycine max 40 2
Squash Cucurbita pepo 40 3
Sugar beet Beta vulgaris 18 2
Sugar cane Saccharum officinarum 80 2
Tamarind Tamarindus indica 24 4
Tobacco Nicotiana tabacum 48 2,3
Tomato Lycopersicon esculentum 24 3
Wheat, durum Triticum durum 28 2
Wheat, common Triticum vulgare 42 2
Wheat, club Triticum compactum 42 2
Man Homo sapiens 46 1,3
Cat Felix domesticus 38 3
CattleBos taurus 60 3
Chicken Gallus domesticus 78 1
Dog Canis familiaris 78 3
Donkey Equus asinus 62 3
Frog Rana pipiens 26 3
Fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster 8 1,3
Grasshopper Melanoplus differentialis 24 3
Honeybee Apis mellifera 32 3
Horse Equus calibus 64 3
House fly Musca domestica 12 1,3
Mosquito Culex pipiens 6 3
Rabbit Oryctolagus cuniculus 44 3
Red ant Formica sanguinea 48 3
Rhesus monkey Macaca mulatta 42 3


1HARTL DL, FREIFELDER D, SNYDER LA. 1988. Basic Genetics. Boston, MA: Jones and Bartlett Publishers. 505 p.

2POEHLMAN JM. 1977. Breeding Field Crops. Connecticut: AVI Publishing Co., Inc. 427 p.

3STRICKBERGER MW. 1976. Genetics. 2nd ed. New York, NY: Macmillan Publishing Co., Inc. 914 p.

4VERHEIJ EWM, CORONEL RE (eds.). 1992. Plant Resources of South-East Asia No.2: Edible Fruits and Nuts. Bogor, Indonesia: Prosea Foundation. 447 p.

(Ben G. Bareja, Dec. 4, 2013) 

Gregor Mendel <<<   >>> James Watson

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