The Institute of Biology and Soil Science needed five years of hard work
to create a collection of iris species collected preferentially in Primorye
and Amur and Sakhalin Regions; the latter is also abundantly represented
by specimens from the Kurile Islands. Our collection of irises numbers
about 400 plants, including the following species: I. ensata Thunb., I.
laevignata, I. sanguinea, I. uniflora, I. oxypetala Bunge, I. setosa Pall.
ex Link. and Pardanthopsis dichotoma.
The variability of a number of fruit and seed features in I. setosa, I. ensata and I. oxypetala was estimated within the framework of intraspecific diversity studies to identify stable and highly variable features. The examined features were used to note polymorphism for a number of insular and continental populations and to develop an effective method for germinating I. setosa seeds.
M. G. Popov, a well-known Russian botanist, and subsequently G. I. Rodionenko, a monographer of the genus Iris, called on evolutionists and taxonomists to concentrate their attention on the plant somsa, the constant part of its organism via whose alteration the flower is impacted. We turned to the plant “soma”, viz. the rhizome to determine the variability in sexual and asexual multiplication reflecting the adaptive strategy of the species in specific habitats. The point is that long-term scars from generative shoots remain on the iris rhizome to allow assessing the frequency of floriferous shoot formation. Continental and insular plants were used in the study to show that both seed and vegetative multiplication prevail in continental populations and those of large islands located near the mainland. The populations of central islands are distinguished by decline in the level of both types of reproduction, but are found to be characterized by older individual age of clonal fragments. Besides, insular populations significantly vary in annual rhizome increment size depending on growth conditions.
In conclusion, to revert to the decorative qualities of irises, our researchers used I. setosa as an example to develop a method for assessing the color diversity of lifelong crown petals using spectrophotometers. Flower growers possessing spectrophotometer model CÔ-18 may use the method on any large-flower objects.
Yu. ZHURAVLEV, Corr. Member, Russian Academy of Sciences, Director, Institute of Biology and Soil Science, F. E. Branch, Russian Academy of Sciences.
A. KHOLINA, Researcher, Institute of Biology and Soil Science, F. E. Branch, Russian Academy of Sciences.
M. ILYUSHKO, Researcher,Institute of Biology and Soil Science, F. E. Branch, Russian Academy of Sciences.
N. MIKHAILOVA, Cand. Sci. (Biology), Institute of Biology and Soil Science, F. E. Branch, Russian Academy of Sciences.
E. BOLTENKOV, Graduate Student, Institute of Biology and Soil Science, F. E. Branch, Russian Academy of Sciences.
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