Delimitation of Iraqi Scorzonera L. (Cichorieae, Asteraceae) species in Sulaimani District (MSU), Kurdistan Region, based on morphological characterization

Document Type : Original Article


1 Department of Biotechnology and Crop Science, College of Agricultural Engineering Sciences, University of Sulaimani, Kurdistan Region, Iraq

2 Department of Biotechnology and Crop Science/ College of Agricultural Engineering Sciences / University of Sulaimani


The genus Scorzonera L. is one of the largest genera of the subtribe Scorzonerinae, tribe Cichorieae, and family Asteraceae. This genus is characterized by complicated variation patterns present among its species. An extensive sampling characterization of macro- and micro-morphology was conducted for Scorzonera species (eight species, including one variety) distributed in the MSU district of the Kurdistan Region-Iraq to clarify inter-sub-generic and interspecies delimitations. We examined all morphological features of the collected samples in detail, along with their anatomical and distribution status. There were several morphological and anatomical characteristics that could be used to distinguish complicated and overlapped species. Analysis of principle components (PCA) and cluster analysis (AHC) were used to determine relationships between taxa. As a result of PCA and HCA, the species were divided into three clusters, in accordance with the taxonomic treatment of Scorzonera based on its morphological characteristics. Variables such as the shape of outer phyllaries, achenes, stigma, anther, stem base collar, leaf shape, leaf margin, leaf tips and surface, and root shape explained most of the total variations. PCA analysis suggests that the characters mentioned above may also be helpful in delineating species groups. Among the species being studied, S. mollis and one variety (S. cana var. jacquiniana) were discovered and examined in the MSU district for the first time. In particular, the results of this study can be used to update and improve the flora of Iraq and the Kurdistan Region for Scorzonera spp.


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