Collections of cultivated plants in the botanical gardens, as gene pool for atypical structures: the example of Paeonia L. representativesстатья

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[1] Sergey E., Ekaterina R. Collections of cultivated plants in the botanical gardens, as gene pool for atypical structures: the example of paeonia l. representatives // Proceedings of the Sixth Botanic Gardens Congress (Eurogard VI). European Botanic Gardens in a Changing World: Insights into Eurogard VI. — Published by the Balkan Botanic Garden of Kroussia (Hellenic Agriculture Organisation-Demeter) and the BGCI Thessaloniki, 2014. — P. 215–224. The conservation of plant species' diversity should also include cultivated varieties. The latter derive from artificial selection and hybridization of species which are used to develop economically valuable plants. Ornamental plants are usually subjected to big changes aiming at decorative attributes and the produced varieties are treated as atypical structures or deviations from normal habit. During past centuries the richest gene pool of cultivated plants was collected in the botanical gardens. They demonstrate not only variety and stages of selection work, but also can be treated as a gene pool of atypical structures. An attempt was undertaken to describe observed atypical structures for forms and varieties of different species of Paeonia L., to trace the hereditary basis of different varieties and the regularity of transfer of selected features from parental species to cultivars.Our researches have revealed significant polymorphism in alternation of flower parts, and also the modifications concerning reproductive organs. The analysis of alternation of flower parts did not reveal dependence of its type from an origin of cultivar and from which parental species it derives. Besides flower structure, many conservative features of peonies, such as ploidy, ultra sculpture of pollen grains and surface of seeds are subjected to variability. As a result we recorded direct dependence between loss of reproductive function and occurrence of atypical structures (doubleness, fragrance), which occurs because of the increase of flower apical meristem sizes during the formation of plant organs.Thus, it is important to keep and study collections of forms and varieties of plants with atypical structures in botanical gardens since in the wild they are sporadic and solitary. Representing a unique combination of genes, any loss of a variety is irreplaceable. Therefore, conservation of cultivated plants is one of the aims of botanical gardens along with conservation of wild species.

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