Genetic Resources and Crop Evolution

, Volume 66, Issue 1, pp 143–163 | Cite as

First insight into diversity of leaf color of loquat (Eribotrya) and its potential value on taxonomy

  • Youxia Shan
  • Chaojun Deng
  • Wenshun Hu
  • Junwei Chen
  • Xiuping Chen
  • Shaoquan ZhengEmail author
  • Qiaoping QinEmail author
Research Article


Leaf morphology is the most intuitive and representative feature that has been applied into field identification and determination of the genetic diversity of loquat germplasms. Using a colorimeter, we analyzed the leaf color traits of 234 loquat accessions in early spring, when four types of leaves (tender leaf on young shoots, mature leaf on autumn shoots, aging leaf on spring shoots and living defoliation) were sampled to measure their front and rear color parameters (L*, a*, b*, C*, H*, E*). Both leaf images and Shannon’s index (I′: 1.76 to 2.00) demonstrate the high diversity of leaf color; Principal Component Analysis shows that a* and b* are mostly significant in cluster analysis. The front and rear color parameters of four types of leaves were respectively clustered, and five dendrograms were selected based on their representative performance on classification. The five-digit search number, which indicates the main cluster of the five dendrograms for each germplasm, and grandient color blocks, which describe the color range of each main cluster, contribute to establishing a taxonomy index. Results demonstrate that loquat leaf color traits not only help to classify the ten species, which fit the Eriobotrya botanical classification and discriminate several landraces and regional resources, but also speed up the classification process and make it intuitive and efficient.


Loquat Leaf color Germplasm resource Genetic diversity Taxonomy Retrieval table 



This work has been founded by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 31570679), the Tropical Crop Germplasm Resources Protection Project of Chinese Ministry of Agriculture (15RZZY-15), Species Resources Protection Project of Chinese Ministry of Agriculture (2015NWB008), the Science Technology Department of Zhejiang Province (No. 2016C02052-3), and the Team-building Project of Scientific and Technological Innovation of Fujian Academy of Agricultural Sciences (STIT2017-1-4).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

10722_2018_702_MOESM1_ESM.tif (1.1 mb)
Fig. S1 The unselected dendrograms in this study for loquat classification. Dendrogram of : a) YSr; b) ASf; c) SSf (TIFF 1166 kb)
10722_2018_702_MOESM2_ESM.docx (114 kb)
Table S1 Information of the 234 loquat accessions sampled in this study: country, origin, and germplasm type (DOCX 114 kb)
10722_2018_702_MOESM3_ESM.docx (118 kb)
Table S2 Loquat accessions contained in each main cluster of the five dendrograms (DOCX 117 kb)
10722_2018_702_MOESM4_ESM.docx (49 kb)
Table S3 Key to Eriobotrya based on the leaf color morphology (DOCX 49 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Youxia Shan
    • 1
    • 2
  • Chaojun Deng
    • 1
    • 3
  • Wenshun Hu
    • 1
    • 3
  • Junwei Chen
    • 4
  • Xiuping Chen
    • 1
    • 3
  • Shaoquan Zheng
    • 1
    • 3
    Email author
  • Qiaoping Qin
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Fruit Research InstituteFujian Academy of Agricultural SciencesFuzhouChina
  2. 2.The Key Laboratory for Quality Improvement of Agricultural Products of Zhejiang Province, School of Agriculture and Food ScienceZhejiang A&F UniversityHangzhouChina
  3. 3.Fruit Breeding Engineering Technology Research Center for Longan & LoquatFuzhouChina
  4. 4.Institute of HorticultureZhejiang Academy of Agricultural SciencesHangzhouChina

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