The genus Dracocephalum L. (Lamiaceae) with about 60 to 70 species is a genus in the sub-tribe Nepetinae, tribe Mentheae of Lamiaceae family, native to temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere. They are mostly perennial herbs, and rarely annual. Flora Iranica reports 8 Dracocephalum species and the Flora of Iran reports 10 Dracocephalum species in Iran out of which, 4 species are endemic. We collected 7 Dracocephalum species and studied species delimitation and species relationship by morphometric and anatomic results. The species were efficiently delimited by morphological and anatomical characters. Morphological and anatomical characters revealed closer affinity between D. moldavica and D. subcapitatum and D. thymiflorum were placed with distance from these species.
Dracocephalum (dragonhead) with about 60 to 70 species is mostly annual or perennial herbs or subshrubs. These species have medicinal values including anticancer, antioxidant, ant hypoxic and immune modulator activities. Dracocephalum thymiflorum grows in limited areas in Iran and forms few local populations and is extensively used by locals. We have no information on anatomical and morphological features of these medicinal species in the country. Clustering and PCA ordination of the studied populations based on morphological and anatomical data separated some of these populations from the others suggesting the existence 2 varieties within this species.
Tamarix L. (Tamaricaceae) is a halophytic shrub in different parts of Asia and North Africa. Taxonomy and species limitation of Tamarix is very complex. This genus has three sections as Tamarix, Oligadenia, and Polyadenia, which are mainly separated by petal length, the number of stamens, the shape of androecial disk and attachment of filament on the androecial disk. As there was no palynological data on pollen features of Tamarix species of Iran, in the present study 12 qualitative and quantitative pollen features were evaluated to find diagnostic ones. Pollen grains of 8 Tamarix species were collected from nature. Pollen grains were studied without any treatment. Measurements were based on at least 50 pollen grains per specimen. Light and scanning electron microscopes were used. Multivariate statistical methods were applied to clarify the species relationships based on pollen data. All species studied showed monad and tricolpate (except some individuals of T. androssowii). Some Tamarix species show a high level of variability, in response to ecological niches and phenotypic plasticity, which make Tamarix species separation much more difficult. Based on the results of the present study, pollen grains features are not in agreement with previous morphological and molecular genetics about the sectional distinction.
The date palm (Phoenix dactylifera L.) is the most important fruit-bearing crop in arid regions of the Middle East and North Africa. About 3,000 date varieties or cultivars are known worldwide that differ in flowering time, several agronomic traits, and fruit-related traits including moisture and sugar content. Phoenix dactylifera is the second most important horticultural crop of Iran that is cultivated mainly in the southern part of the country. It has about 400 known cultivars in Iran and therefore comprises an important part of the whole world date palm genetic resources. We have no detailed information on its population genetic structure. The present study was an attempt to provide the population genetic data on 14 date palm cultivars for the first time. The present study tried to identify genetic diversity of a few cultivars and provide data on their genetic structure with REMAP molecular marker. The results revealed a moderate level of genetic diversity both among and within the studied cultivars. We obtained mean genetic polymorphism of 20.8%.
The genus Tamarix has about 60 species growing mainly in saline areas of deserts and semi-deserts in Asia, Europe, northeastern and southwestern Africa. Thirty-five species of Tamarix are grown in Iran, which have been used in fields to prevent deforestation, control soil erosion or for ornamental purposes. We have limited information on anatomical features of these species. We used 15 anatomical characters for our investigation in 10 species. PCoA ordination of the studied species based on anatomical data separated some of these species from the others. We identified 5 species that were well delimited by anatomical analysis.
Tragopogon L. (Cichorioideae, Lactuceae, Scorzonerinae) is an Old World genus with 150 species. Pollen morphology has proved useful in the systematics of some genera and species of Asteraceae as well as in that of some of its genera and species. The pollen morphology of 24 taxa of the genus Tragopogon was investigated in detail by scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The pollen grain type ranged from suboblate, oblate-spheroidal to prolate-spheroidal in equatorial view and hexagonal, obtuse-hexagonal to hexagonal-angular in polar view. In this study separation of the species of the sections Majores, Profundisulcati, Sosnovsky, Chromopappus, Rubriflori according to Flora Iranica is presented from the other species of Tragopogon. T. jezdianus, T. porphyrocephalus, T. rezaiyensis are suggested to belong to Rubriflori section. The results indicate that the palynological characters of the genus Tragopogon are valuable for taxonomic applications and are useful for classification.
The Persian walnut, also known Juglans regia of the genus Juglans is cultivated throughout the temperate regions of the world for its high-quality wood and edible nuts. Genetic diversity, structure and differentiation of cultivated walnut are important for effective conservation, management, and utilisation of germplasm. Recent study on genetic diversity and genotype differentiation in Persian walnut of Iran, revealed that these genotypes can be differentiated by ITS and ISSR, however, these markers show a low degree of genetic variability. ITS sequences revealed a lower degree of genetic difference of the studied Persian walnut genotypes compared to that of ISSR molecular markers. Therefore, it is important to investigate these genotypes by the other molecular markers to find out which one can produce more data on genetic structure and variability in these important genotypes. For the same reason, we continued this study by using cp-DNA (psbA-trnhG) gene, IRAP, and REMAP. To provide barcode for Iranian genotypes of Juglans regia is an other objective of this study. For IRAP and REMAP analyses studies, we randomly selected 60 plants from 6 populations including 3 wild and 3 cultivated populations. For cp- DNA analysis we used 21 plants of Juglans regia randomly selected from 6 studied populations. The present study revealed a high level of genetic variability in Juglans regia genotypes in those sequences investigated by IRAP and REMAP molecular markers. We reported that IRAP and REMAP molecular markers cannot be efficiently used in walnut germplasm genetic screening.
Persicaria with 70–100 species in the world is distributed in temperate regions of both hemispheres. It has 11 species in Iran growing in moist areas and margins of rivers. Through hybridisation, plasticity and existence of overlapping habitats, species identification shows difficulty. In this study, we aimed to investigate karyotype characters and morphological features, evaluate genetic variability within and among species studied and examine species relationship using ISSR data. Nine annual taxa of Persicaria were gathered from different localities in Iran and used for studies. Our studies showed that combination of karyological, morphological and molecular data can delimit species studied. Based on karyological results, three chromosome counts (P. hydropiper (2n = 2x = 20), P. maculosa (2n = 2x = 22), P. orientalis (2n = 2x = 22)) were the first reports for the Flora of Iran. Analyses of morphological characters showed diagnostic features among taxa. STRUCTURE and AMOVA analyses showed high intraspecific genetic diversity. Our results suggested that phenotypic plasticity and hybridisation may cause genetic diversity within Persicaria species.
Geranium subg. Robertium (Geraniaceae) comprises eight sections, of which sect. Batrachioidea contains four species centred in Eurasia, Mediterranean region and the Himalaya Mountains. Three species of Geranium pusillum, G. molle and G. pyrenaicum occur in Iran show some degree of morphological overlaps that make the species delimitation difficult. Moreover, hybrids are known to be formed between these species elsewhere. Till present time, there has been no detailed information available on molecular phylogeny and genetic structure of these species in the country. Therefore, the present study was conducted with the aim to investigate species delimitation by both morphological and molecular data and to reveal genetic diversity and population structure in these three Geranium species. For this study, 216 randomly collected plants from 30 geographical populations in three Geranium species were used. We encountered extensive within species genetic and morphological diversity. ISSR molecular markers could not delimit the studied species. STRUCTURE analysis revealed the occurrence gene flow between these species. The Mantel test showed no correlation between genetic distance and geographical distance of the populations studied. Statistical analysis showed no significant difference between ITS and rbcL sequences and phylogenetic tree was constructed based on combined data set which separated outgroups from the studied species. Genetic affinity of the studied species has been discussed.
Species delimitation is essential since species is regarded as the basic unit of analysis in nearly all biological disciplines, such as ecology, biogeography, conservation biology, and macroevolution. The genus Geranium (Geraniaceae) comprises about 350 species distributed throughout most parts of the world. The subg. Robertium comprises 30 species which are arranged in 8 sections. This subgenus is represented in Iran by 10 species. These species are grouped into 5 sections. In spite vast distribution of many Geranium species that grow in Iran, there are not any available report on their genetic diversity, mode of divergence and patterns of dispersal. Therefore molecular (ISSR markers) and morphological studies of 147 accessions from 10 species of Geranium (subg. Robertium), that were collected from different habitats in Iran were performed. The aims of the present study are: 1) to find the diagnostic value of ISSR markers in delimitation of Geranium species, 2) to find the genetic structure of these taxa in Iran, and 3) to investigate the species inter-relationship. The present study revealed that combination of morphological and ISSR data can delimit the species. AMOVA and STRUCTURE analysis revealed that the species of subg. Robertium are genetically differentiated but have some degree of shared common alleles.