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Morphological characterization of wild Rosa L. germplasm from the Western Himalaya, India


The aim of this study was to assess morphological variation in wild Rosa L. germplasm from the Western Himalayan Region that includes the geographical area of two Union territories (Jammu and Kashmir [J&K] and Ladakh) and one state (Himachal Pradesh [HP]) of India. Field trips in different locations of J&K, Ladakh, and HP from 2014 to 2018 were undertaken in different seasons to collect accessions of wild Rosa species. A total of 59 accessions belonging to six wild Rosa species (Rosa canina L., R. foetida var. persiana [Lem.] Rehder, R. macrophylla Lindl., R. moschata Herrm., R. multiflora Thunb. and R. webbiana Wall ex. Royle) were collected. Fifty-five vegetative and reproductive characters (39 qualitative and 16 quantitative characters) were recorded for all of the accessions to determine the most significant morphological differences among the six species and among accessions of the same species. Phenotypic variability among the studied accessions was evaluated using descriptive statistics, principal component analysis (PCA), and cluster analysis. Among the quantitative characters analyzed, the coefficient of variation (CV) was highest for the number of rose hips per inflorescence and lowest for petal length; for the qualitative characters, the CV was highest for rose hip shape and lowest for sepal prickles. Results of the PCA indicated that the first six components accounted for 65.44% of the total variation. Leaflet length displayed a significant positive correlation with leaflet width, petiole length and pedicel length. Petal length, petal breadth, and flower diameter were positively correlated with each other. Hip length showed a positive correlation with hip width and a negative correlation with pedicel length, and hip color. Hip number per inflorescence showed a positive correlation with leaflet length, leaflet breadth, petiole length, pedicel length, and a strong negative correlation with prickle length. Clustering analysis categorized the Rosa accessions into two clusters and several groups and subgroups, indicating a high level of morphological variation in the germplasm. The key traits among the species identified to have a high discriminating value were leaflet length, leaflet breadth, prickle shape and size, stipule margin, style nature, sepal margin, flower color, and size and shape of hips. These results indicate that there is a high potential for obtaining desirable trait combinations from wild Rosa germplasm of the Western Himalaya Region.

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The authors thank the director of IIIM Jammu for providing the necessary facilities to carry out the work. They are grateful to the Science and Engineering Research Board Department of Science and Technology (SERB DST), Government of India for financial assistance under Start Up Research Grant (Young Scientist), grant No YSS/2015/000442. KS acknowledges the financial assistance provided by Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) in the form of JRF/SRF fellowship. CSIR-IIIM Publication No.- CSIR-IIIM/IPR/00139.

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Singh, K., Sharma, Y.P. & Gairola, S. Morphological characterization of wild Rosa L. germplasm from the Western Himalaya, India. Euphytica 216, 41 (2020).

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  • Germplasm characterization
  • Genetic resource
  • Wild roses
  • Principal component analysis
  • Cluster analysis
  • Western Himalaya