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Characterization of an Allium cultivated in Iran: the persian leek

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Persian leek (Allium sp.) is a cultivated food species, native to the Middle East, which is important economically but its taxonomic identity and relationship to other relative species remain unclear. Vegetative and floral morphology of different specimens of the Persian leek was studied in order to define its taxonomical position. The results support a close relationship to A. ampeloprasum L. derivatives. Mitotic studies of meristematic root cells in Persian leek specimens, showed the chromosome number to be consistently 2n = 4x = 32. However, the specimens differed in chromosome morphology and their karyograms were classified into two groups. Because of doubts regarding taxonomic identity of Persian leek with its nearest wild form, A. iranicum (Wendelbo) Wendelbo, a morphological comparison was made with respect to presence and shape of bulblets exterior to the main bulb, structure of the stamens, etc. and confirmed the Persian leek as a separate entity. There was no evidence for its presence in the wild and may thus be considered as a cultigen. Our analysis suggests that the Persian leek is a distinct subordinate group of A. ampeloprasum.
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Keywords: ALLIACEAE; ALLIUM AMPELOPRASUM; KARYOTYPE ANALYSIS; PERSIAN LEEK; STAMEN STRUCTURE

Document Type: Regular Paper

Publication date: 2006-06-01

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  • The Belgian Journal of Botany (now known as Plant Ecology and Evolution) is an international journal open to all fields of plant sciences. Please note, however, that papers restricted to purely nomenclatural matters or to floristical data of only local interest will not be accepted. The Journal appears in one volume of two issues per year. It publishes reviews, original research papers, short notes, letters to the editor, and book reviews. Click here for current issues of this journal
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