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Mikatadze-Pantsulaia T.,Tbilisi Botanical Garden and Institute of Botany | Barblishvili T.,Tbilisi Botanical Garden and Institute of Botany | Trivedi C.,Royal Botanic Gardens | Kikodze D.,Tbilisi Botanical Garden and Institute of Botany | Khutsishvili M.,Tbilisi Botanical Garden and Institute of Botany
Kew Bulletin | Year: 2010

Summary: Ecological and biological characteristics of eight, endemic, economically important, Georgian Red Data species (Convallaria transcaucasica Utkin ex Grossh., Cyclamen colchicum (Albov) Albov, Dioscorea caucasica Lipsky, Erythronium caucasicum Woronow, Gymnospermium smirnowii (Trautv.) Takht., Iris iberica Hoffm, Paeonia mlokosewitschii Lomak and Tulipa eichleri Regel) were studied. The current status of wild populations was assessed throughout their distributional area; exact locations of target populations were recorded using GPS, and fertility and vitality of individual populations were evaluated. Structural aspects of seed formation were studied, reproduction capacity was calculated, and the ratio of seed production (actual seed-forming capacity) to the number of ovules (potential seed-forming capacity) was determined. Optimum periods for the collection of mature seeds were identified for each target species. Seed germinability, sprouting capacity and potential for seedling development were tested experimentally in the laboratory on Petri dishes, in pots and outdoors. Ex situ conservation activities have been carried out: a seed bank was established and a stock of seedlings was produced for the purpose of in situ restoration of species with high conservation value. © 2011 The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.


Barinova S.,Haifa University | Kukhaleishvili L.,Tbilisi Botanical Garden and Institute of Botany | Nevo E.,Haifa University | Janelidze Z.,Vakushti Bagrationi State Institute of Geography
Turkish Journal of Botany | Year: 2011

Algal communities from the Algeti National Park in eastern Georgia were studied between 2005 and 2008. The algal species diversity comes from 77 algological samples and includes 315 species and infraspecies, which belong to 7 taxonomical divisions. Of these findings, 295 species are reported for the first time in the Algeti National Park and 9 of them are new for Georgia. The most abundant are diatoms, with 220 species. Communities were dominated by Cladophora glomerata (L.) Kütz. (Chlorophyta), Spirogyra sp. (Charophyta), Ulnaria ulna (Nitzsch) Compère (diatom), and Phormidium autumnale (C.Agardh) R.Trevis. ex Gomont (Cyanobacteria). The index of species diversity per area in the Algeti is 6.89. The comparative floristic and statistical analysis of algal communities from Algeti and 13 other Georgian Natural Reserves, altogether 1063 species, divides the communities into groups of less than or more than 200 species, with diatom or nondiatom domination that correlates with climatic variables. The species diversity in the natural reserves increases from the Black Sea coast to the east, a movement that corresponds to a similar increase in altitude. In this study, 3 floristic groups are recognized: mountainous areas, lowlands, and piedmonts. The most speciesrich communities are found in extreme environments. A correlation of algal diversity with environmental conditions shows that the altitude-dependent regional climatic variables and the lowest winter air temperature in particular, are the major factors. The index of infraspecies variation in each reserve is a small range (1.01-1.15) and shown to be a result of constant altitude combined with seasonal climatic fl uctuations. The diversity indices and bioindication analysis reflect a moderate level of anthropogenic disturbance for the protected areas.


Melia N.,Tbilisi Botanical Garden and Institute of Botany | Gabedava L.,Tbilisi Botanical Garden and Institute of Botany | Barblishvili T.,Tbilisi Botanical Garden and Institute of Botany | Jgenti L.,Tbilisi Botanical Garden and Institute of Botany
Turkish Journal of Botany | Year: 2012

Our study examines the structural peculiarities of the generative sphere at diff erent phases of development, and the processes of pollination, fertilisation, and seed formation in 2 species of wild fl ora: Arbutus andrachne L. (Ericaceae), the eastern strawberry tree, and Osmanthus decorus (Boiss. & Balansa) Kasapligil (Oleaceae), Caucasian osmanthus. Th ese Arcto-Tertiary plants are included in the Red Data Book of the Georgian SSR. As germinable seeds are the main factor determining species distribution and the complete transfer of genetic information, the aim of our research was to establish the self-regeneration capacity of the species under study and choose optimum conditions for seed germination, the further development of seedlings, and their ex situ conservation. It has been stated that abnormalities taking place at different stages of sexual reproduction are responsible for the low capacity for seed formation found in the studied species. In particular, these factors are as follows: a limited capacity for allogamy; a low percentage of pollen tube development, at 20%-30% for Arbutus andrachne and 15%-20% for Osmanthus decorus, despite the high fertility of pollen grain of both species (approximately 70%-80%); and the frequent occurrence of embryo degeneration. The germination of Arbutus andrachne seeds on petri dishes on agar reached 80%. The results of the present study allow for the elaboration of protocol for the propagation of these relic species and for their further ex situ conservation on the collection plot of the Department of Plant Conservation. © TÜBITAK.


Inashvili T.,Tbilisi Botanical Garden and Institute of Botany | Batsatsashvili K.,Ilia State University
Turkish Journal of Botany | Year: 2010

New records of the following 17 lichen taxa are reported from Georgia: Aspicilia esculenta (Pall.) Flagey, Caloplaca lobulata (Flörke) Hellb., Cladonia caespiticia (Pers.) Flörke, Hypogymnia farinacea Zopf, H. subduplicata (Rass.) Rass., Lecidella stigmatea (Ach.) Hertel & Leuckert, Leptorhaphis lucida Körb., Parmelia saxatilis (L.) Ach. var. divaricata Delise ex Nyl., Parmotrema arnoldii (Du Rietz) Hale, Phaeophyscia hirsutaMereschk., Physcia biziana (A.Massal.) Zahlbr., Physconia detersa (Nyl.) Poelt, Ramalina obtusata (Arnold) Bitter, Squamarina gypsacea (Sm.) Poelt, Toninia sedifolia (Scop.) Timdal, Umbilicaria cylindrica (L.) Delise ex Duby var. tornata (Ach.) Nyl., and Xanthoparmelia tinctina (Maheu & A.Gillet) Hale. Four of the reported taxa were recorded in Vashlovani Protected Areas, East Georgia. The paper also presents a brief summary of lichen studies in Georgia since the beginning of the 19th century with all important literature sources cited. © TÜBİTAK.


Gurushidze M.,Leibniz Institute of Plant Genetics and Crop Plant Research | Gurushidze M.,Tbilisi Botanical Garden and Institute of Botany | Fritsch R.M.,Leibniz Institute of Plant Genetics and Crop Plant Research | Blattner F.R.,Leibniz Institute of Plant Genetics and Crop Plant Research
Taxon | Year: 2010

Noncoding chloroplast DNA sequences are widely employed markers in plant species-level phylogenetics and phy-logeography. However, chloroplast capture (hybridization) and incomplete sorting of ancestral lineages could confound phylogenetic inference using chloroplast DNA. Recently, we studied the phylogeny of Allium subg. Melanocrommyum based on nuclear rDNA internal transcribed spacer (ITS) sequences and showed that, although the subgenus is monophyletic, most sections are either para- or polyphyletic. To get insights from the chloroplast genome we sequenced the plastid trnL-trnF region in 434 individuals representing 100 species of A. subg. Melanocrommyum and found 74 chloroplast haplotypes. The sequences were analyzed using tree-based (Bayesian and maximum parsimony) and network-based (statistical parsimony network) approaches. The analyses revealed high level of chloroplast haplotype sharing among up to 15 species, as well as presence of several closely related haplotypes within single species. Several characteristics of the data violate the main assumptions of standard tree building methods that is the persistence of ancestral haplotypes and their co-existence with descendant alleles as well as multifurcating relationships among these alleles. The taxon groups inferred from chloroplast trnL-trnF sequence analyses were congruent with the nuclear phylogeny. Thus, bi- and uniparentally inherited datasets strongly contradict the morphology-based taxonomic classification of A. subg. Melanocrommyum. Also, the present study (1) reports a trnF gene duplication in A. subg. Melanocrommyum, (2) infers few putative homoploid hybrid taxa, and (3) shows that natural interspecies hybrids occur rarely in the subgenus. Generally, our data strongly advocate including multiple accessions per species in species-level phylogenetic studies, and show the advantages of networks over tree building methods for analyzing sequences from noncoding chloroplast loci in closely related species.

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