Artemisia herba-alba complex: morphological diversity and molecular uniformity

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Research Paper 01/07/2014
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Artemisia herba-alba complex: morphological diversity and molecular uniformity

Salari Zahra, Mehregan Iraj, Assadi Mostafa, Nejadsattari Taher
J. Bio. Env. Sci.5( 1), 608-624, July 2014.
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A study aiming to clarify the taxonomic status of the species in Iran known as A. herba-alba (or A. sieberi) and A. kermanensis, and to illustrate their relationships to A. aucheri was performed using morphological and molecular ITS (internal transcribed spacer) and ETS (external transcribed spacer) data. Our results showed that despite their differences in gross morphology, very little differences were observed in their floral morphology and ITS and ETS sequences. All populations belonging to the species named A. herba-alba, A. sieberi, A. kermanensis and A. aucheri form a morphologically variable species complex which can not be segregated as different taxonomic units using the ITS and ETS sequencing data. It is also concluded that the morphological diversity in populations of the A. herba-alba complex could be related to the phenotypic plasticity associated with climate differences of their habitats.


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