Investigation of Genetic Diversity of Some Wild Barberry Genotypes (Berberis spp.) in Alborz and Tehran Provinces Using Morpho-pomological Markers

Document Type : Research Article


Temperate Fruits Research Center, Horticultural Science Research Institute, Agricultural Research Education and Extension Organization (AREEO), Tehran, Iran


 Barberry is one of the native plants of Iran and tolerates environmental stresses, especially drought. This species can play a special role in the future development of horticulture in Iran. This species is drought tolerant and can be used in the development of rain-fed gardens. The Barberry family contains 15 genera and 650 species, most of which are distributed in the temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere. The most important genus in the barberry family is Berberis. This genus has 500 species, some of which, including Zalzalaki, Zarafshani, Khorasani, Rastkhoshe, common and Japanese barberry, exist in Iran (i.e., Berberis vulgaris, B. orthobotrys, B. crataegina, B. integerrima, and B. khorasanica, respectively). This plant is widely distributed in Iran. Various wild species of barberry are distributed in the southern and northern slopes of Alborz from Firoozkooh, Taleghaneh, Miyaneh to Amarlu of Gilan. This genus grows on large areas of the Zagros at an altitude of 1000 to 2500 meters above sea level. Iran is the largest producer of seedless barberry in the world with a cultivated area of ​​18341 hectares and production of 21181 tons of dried barberry. This species can play a special role in the future development of horticulture in the country and reduce the pressure on water resources, especially in rain-fed horticulture.
Materials and Methods
 In this study, 25 genotypes were evaluated from three regions: west of Alborz province (Taleghan region), north of Alborz province (Chalus road and Khuzenkola, Arangeh, Asara to Dizin heights) and northeast of Tehran (Lavasanat). Morphological evaluation was performed according to UPOV instruction (TG 68/3). 32 quantitative and qualitative morphological and horticultural traits were evaluated according to UPOV (TG 3.68). Of which, 11 quantifiable traits including leaf length and width, fruit length and width, pedicel length, Berries per raceme, cluster length, spines length, vitamin C, TA (Titratable Acidity) and TSS (Total Soluble Solid) were analyzed.
Results and Discussion
 The results of analysis of variance showed significant differences between genotypes for all quantative traits evaluated at the level of 1% and for the number of berries per cluster at the level of 5%. The high coefficient of variation indicates high variability for the desired trait, which allows the breeder to have more choices for selecting desired genotypes. The number of fruits per cluster with 45.55, spines length with 28.67 and titratable acid with 26.58 percent malic acid, had the highest range of changes. Qualitative traits included Foliage secondary color, Leaf curvature and Leaf margin, Leaf glossiness, Color of lower side, Fruit tip, Fruit waxiness, Foliage persistence, and Shoot color in spring among the genotypes were uniform and without variance. The lowest coefficient of variation among quantitative traits was related to Brix (7. a16 percent) and fruit length (13.14 percent). The highest number of fruits was belonged to Lavasan genotype (AD8) giving an average of 25 fruits per cluster, which was substantially different from other genotypes. The highest and lowest fruit length and width are related to Taleghan 5 (11.59 mm) and Chalus 7 (3.26 mm) genotypes, respectively. In a study, the average length and width of barberry fruit were 7.69 and 3.32 mm, respectively. Vitamin C is one of the nutritional values of fruits and has direct effects on human health. Wild barberry genotypes possessing the least vitamin C content (4.7 mg/per 100 gram) of fresh fruit (Asara I genotype) and also the fruits containing the highest values (i.e., 10.57 (Taleghan 4), 9.63 (Chalous 8) and 9.4 (Taleghan 8)) yielded more than even temperate fruits such as stone and pome fruits (The mean amount of vitamin C in apples, grapes and black cherries is 4.6, 4, 10 mg/100 g FW, respectively). This value in strawberries as an indicator plant is reported between 10 and 100 and an average of 58.8 and the value for lemons is 53 mg/100 g FW. Khayat and Mahmoud Abadi (2010) reported the amount of vitamin C in seedless barberry treated by fertilizers varied from 4 to 9 mg  per 100 g of fresh fruit.
The highest values of total soluble solids or Brix˚ were related to Chalus 8 genotypes with value of 24.83% and Chalus 1 with value of 23.23% and the lowest amount was related to Asara 2 genotype with 18.1%. Khayat and Mahmoud Abadi (2010) reported the total soluble solids ranged between 18.3 to 33.06 percent in seedless barberry, which is much higher than our experiment. The highest titratable acidity were observed in Taleghan 4, Taleghan 8 and Taleghan 2 genotypes, with 2.66, 2.65 and 2.41 mg/ml malic acid respectively, and the lowest titratable acid was observed in Chalus 9 genotype with 1.12 mg/ml malic acid. This value has been reported in domestic barberry is between 1.07 and 2.95. The highest mean leaf lengths were observed in Chalus cultivars 3 and 5. Among the genotypes, Taleghan 7 has the longest Pedicel length.
The selected genotypes for breeding programs were the Oshan (AD8) genotypes with an average of 25 fruits per cluster. Regarding vitamin C content the prominent genotypes were the Taleghan 4 (10.57), Chalus 8 (9.63) and Taleghan 8 (9.4) mg/100 g F.W. The highest genotypes for total soluble solids were Chalus 8 genotypes with 24.83 and Chalus 1 with 23.23 percent.


Main Subjects

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  • Receive Date: 17 March 2021
  • Revise Date: 20 June 2021
  • Accept Date: 18 October 2021
  • First Publish Date: 25 October 2021