|Authors: ||M.H. Azimi, S. Jozghasemi, F. Hasanzadeh Davarani, H.M. Aliabadi|
|Keywords: ||conservation, germplasm, Iran, Iris species|
The goal of this study was to identify the genetic potential of Iris germplasm in Iran and characterize it for plant breeding and conservation purposes.
The genus Iris belongs to the family Iridaceae. About 300 wild species of Iris have been identified around the world.
So far, 20 species and subspecies of wild irises have been discovered in Iran, which have special economic and medicinal value in most parts of the world.
Chromosome numbers of Iranian iris are 2n=2x=18-48. Identification and characterization of Iranian irises can be useful in upcoming breeding programs.
Also, plant breeders require a reservoir of genetic variation (gene pool) for crop improvement.
Numerous studies have attempted to evaluate Iranian irises using several methods, including molecular markers [randomly amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) and inter simple sequence repeats (ISSR)] and biochemical, cytological and morphological traits.
Genetic variation, phenotypic variation and heritability of important traits of irises were also investigated.
Important species of Iranian irises include Iris acutiloba, Iris persica, Iris iberica and Iris spuria. The highest concentration of anthocyanins, flavonoids and carotenoids was observed in I. acutiloba. Having a larger reservoir of variation leads to higher chances of finding particular characters, such as resistance genes for diseases and pests or for adaptation to wider ecological amplitudes and stress conditions.
In recent years, more than 60 new genotypes of Iris germanica and I. spuria have been bred in Iran, which are used for hybridization and can provide new perspectives on the composition of wild types and other species.
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