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New forms of orchids identified and described by Lobachevsky University scientists

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At the 22nd World Orchid Conference held in Guayaquil, Ecuador, Lobachevsky University was represented by Director of the Botanical Garden Alexander Shirokov and head of the laboratory at the UNN Institute of Biology and Biomedicine Lavr Kryukov who shared the results of their studies of the polymorphism of Cypripedium guttatum flowers in Russia.

The following forms of Cypripedium guttatum were first identified and described:

  1. C. guttatum forma guttatum – the flower has a typical coloring for this species, with spots evenly spaced over the surface of the lip, and on the inside of the sepal and petals;
  2. C. guttatum forma rubrasaccos – the flower is distinguished by an even purple lip coloration and spotted sepals and petals;
  3. C. guttatum forma albastriatum represents some form of C. guttatum forma rubrasaccos, with a distinct white band in the central part of the lip that divides it into two halves;
  4. C. guttatum forma externemaculatum is close to C. guttatum forma guttatum, but differs from it by the presence of pronounced spots on the outer (upper) side of the sepal (in the remaining varieties, the sepal is pure white on the outside);
  5. C. guttatum forma semialbum is a transitional form to C. guttatum forma albiflorum, which manifests itself by very pale spots on a pure white background of all parts of the flower.

The existence of five forms with different coloring of the flowers characterizes the high level of intraspecific polymorphism. The most pronounced distinction of the forms "externemaculatum" and "semialbum" has been revealed by means of the analysis of morphometric indicators and the discriminant analysis. The form "guttatum" is the most common typical form in the populations studied. The "albastriatum" and "rubrasaccos" forms cannot be always clearly distinguished, however, when introduced into culture, it is possible to obtain cultivars with a more fixed coloring of the flower.

The research done by UNN scientists is of great importance for family taxonomy. It has been highly appreciated by the professional community. "Lobachevsky University was represented with honor thanks to your participation", commented Dr. Alec M. Pridgeon, Conference Chairman, Honorary Fellow at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.

Research results have been submitted to the Journal of Plant Research (Japan).

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