Document Type : Full Paper
Former graduate Student, Associate Professor, University College of Agriculture and Natural Resours, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran
Professor, University College of Agriculture and Natural Resours, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran
Associate Professor, University College of Agriculture and Natural Resours, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran
Assistant Professor, Ornamental Plant Reserch Station of Lahijan, Iran
Lily (Lilium L.) is a perennial plant of Liliaceae family ranking as one of the three top bulbaceous flowers of floriculture industry due to its large and attractive flowers. Susan-e-Chelcheragh (Lilium ledebourii (Baker) Boiss.) is the rarest species of the genus naturally occuring only in some limited parts of Iran including Damash, Kalardasht, Asalem, Kojur, Dorfak, Ardebil and in one part of Azerbaijan Republic, namely Lankaran. Kojur region was first recognized throughout this research with no report having previously proved the existence of this plant in this region. This species, which benefits from a great potential of development as an ornamental plant, is presently and unfortunately faced with the risk of species loss. Agro-morphological evaluation of wild relatives of crop plants as valuable genetic pools, beside an accurate estimate of the level and distribution pattern of their genetic diversity, provide information useful not only for the establishment of effective conservation strategies, but also for future breeding programs. Therefore, the present study was aimed at evaluating different populations of L. ledebourii, employing agro-morphological characteristics and multivariate analyses. The results indicated that there existed considerable variations among the studied characteristics which can be taken into account for the selection of plants of desirable traits. In addition, high and significant correlation coefficients were observed between most of the assessed characters with the highest value (r=0.930) recorded between plant height and stem diameter. Factor analysis led to an identification of characters with high degrees of discrimination, in which the most effective ones were gathered in some five major factors that explained 81.13% of the total variance. On the other hand, cluster analysis led to classification of genotypes in question into different groups which corresponded mainly to their geographical origins. Plotting of the studied genotypes in three dimensions by use of three main factors resulted in formation of two main groups and five sub-groups in agreement with the results of cluster analysis in most cases. Finally, the eight different populations were grouped into two main clusters including cultivated Dorfak, Ardebil and Damash plants as well as wild growing plants of Kojur, as against the wild populations of Ardebil, Damash, Kalardasht and Asalem as judged through the results obtained from cluster analysis.