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  • Author or Editor: Ghasem Karimzadeh x
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Plant genetic diversity is the fundamental of plant-breeding programs to improve desirable characteristics. Hence, evaluation of genetic diversity is the first step in fruit-breeding programs. Accordingly, the current study was carried out to evaluate 25 superior walnut genotypes in respect of phenotypic and cytological characteristics. For this purpose, 560 walnut genotypes in southwest of Iran were evaluated based on UPOV and International Plant Genetic Resources Institute (IPGRI) descriptor. After a 2-year primary evaluation, 25 superior genotypes were selected for future phenotypic and genome size assessment. Flow cytometry was used to estimate genome size of the selected superior genotypes. A high genetic diversity was found in walnut population collected from the southwest of Iran. The selected superior genotypes had high yield, lateral bearing, thin-shell thickness (0.90–1.64 mm), high nut (12.54–19.80 g) and kernel (7.02–9.91 g) weight with light (L) to extra light (EL) kernel color which easily can be removed from the shell. Also, FaBaCh2 genotype turned out to be protogynous being important as a pollinizer cultivar. In addition to extensive phenotypic analysis, genome size was determined. The studied genotypes were diploid (2n = 2x = 32) and varied in genome size from 1.29 (FaBaAv2) to 1.40 pg (FaBaNs12). Correlation analysis showed that lateral bearing, budbreak date, nut size, and weight were the main variables contributing to walnut production. A linear relationship was found between genome size and nut weight (r = 0.527**), kernel weight (r = 0.551**), and nut size index (NSI) (r = 0.487**). Therefore, genome size can be considered as a strong and valuable tool to predict nut and kernel weight and nut size.

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An efficient colchicine-mediated chromosome doubling of diploid feverfew followed by the morphophenological, physiological, phytochemical, and cytological changes of the obtained tetraploid plants was conducted. One-week-old seedlings of feverfew were treated with 0.05% (w/v) colchicine for 2, 4, 6, 8, and 24 h. Tetraploid plants were regenerated after 4 months, showing significant changes in stomatal size and density; sizes of seed; flower, pollen, leaf, trichome, cell, nucleus, and parthenolide content; chromosome number; ploidy level; chlorophyll content index; and quantum efficiency of photosystem II. Such characteristics of induced tetraploid feverfews can be useful in medicinal and ornamental applications, e.g., the study of flower morphogenesis, trichome differentiation, and parthenolide biosynthesis. The increase in parthenolide in tetraploids of the next generation (selfed T0 plants) showed that ploidy induction is a good breeding method for feverfew.

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