Genetic Resources and Crop Evolution

, Volume 59, Issue 5, pp 909–926 | Cite as

Multivariate analysis of Prunus subgen. Cerasus germplasm in Iran using morphological variables

  • Abdollah Khadivi-Khub
  • Zabihollah Zamani
  • Mohamad Reza Fatahi
Research Article


Knowledge of relationships among the cultivated and wild species of Cerasus, a subgenus of Prunus L., is important for recognizing gene pools, identifying pitfalls in germplasm collections and developing effective conservation and management strategies. In this study, morphological characterization of wild Cerasus subgenus species naturally growing in Iran, including P. avium L. (mazzard), P. mahaleb L., P. brachypetala Boiss., P. incana Pall., P. yazdiana Mozaff., P. microcarpa Boiss. subsp. microcarpa, P. microcarpa Boiss. subsp. diffusa and P. pseudoprostrata Pojark. and three commercial species, sweet cherry (P. avium L.), sour cherry (P. cerasus L.) and duke cherry (P. × gondouinii Rehd.) was investigated. Twenty-nine variables were recorded in 95 accessions of these species to detect similarities among them. All studied characteristics were showing a high degree of variability, but it was highly pronounced for plant height, leaf characters especially for dimensions and pubescence as well as for petiole and peduncle length. The majority of significant correlation coefficients were found in the characteristics representing plant size and growth habit with leaf size. Principal component analysis was performed for phenotypical diversity determination and grouping of species. Characters with high discriminating values were those related to growth habit, height, compactness, trunk diameter, leaf dimensions, petiole length, leaf tip and serration, flower color, peduncle length, fruit shape and stone shape. Based on the cluster analysis, species included in two main clusters, first those with large structure (sweet, sour and duke cherries, mazzard and mahaleb), second the other species with small structure which might be potentially suitable for rootstock breeding programs. Scatter plot using two first factors also confirmed the grouping by cluster analysis. The conservation of the highly diverse native populations of Iranian wild Cerasus species is recommended.


Cerasus Correlation coefficients Genetic resources Native population Principal component analysis Prunus Wild species 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Abdollah Khadivi-Khub
    • 1
  • Zabihollah Zamani
    • 1
  • Mohamad Reza Fatahi
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Horticultural Sciences, Faculty of AgricultureUniversity of TehranKarajIran

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