Plant Systematics and Evolution

, Volume 303, Issue 3, pp 267–282 | Cite as

Spatial patterns and intraspecific diversity of the glacial relict legume species Vavilovia formosa (Stev.) Fed. in Eurasia

  • Petr Smýkal
  • Michala Chaloupská
  • Michael Bariotakis
  • Lucie Marečková
  • Andrey Sinjushin
  • Ivan Gabrielyan
  • Janna Akopian
  • Cengiz Toker
  • Gregory Kenicer
  • Miloslav Kitner
  • Stergios Pirintsos
Original Article


Vavilovia formosa is one of five genera in tribe Fabeae, (Fabaceae, Leguminosae) with close phylogenetic relationships to Pisum. It grows in subalpine and alpine levels in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Russia and Turkey and is recognized as an endangered and protected plant. This study was conducted to reveal its intraspecific variability, as well as to predict the past, extant and future species distribution range. We analysed 51 accessions with common phylogenetic markers (trnF-trnL, trnS-trnG, matK, rbcL, psbA-trnH and ITS). These represent in total up to 2551 bp of chloroplast and 664 bp of nuclear sequences per sample. Two populations from Turkey and Armenia were analysed for genetic diversity by AFLP. Leaf morphometry was conducted on 1457 leaflets from 43 specimens. Extracted bioclimatic parameters were used for niche-modelling approach. Analysis of cpDNA revealed two haplotypes, 12 samples from Armenia, Daghestan, Nakhichevan and Iran belonged to H1 group, while 39 samples of all Turkish and part of Armenian were in H2 group. The mean intrapopulation diversity based on AFLP was low (H E = 0.088) indicating limited outcrossing rate. A significantly positive correlation between geographical latitude and leaf area (\(\rho\) = 0.527, p < 0.05) was found. Niche modelling has shown temporal variation of predicted occurrence across the projected time periods. Vavilovia formosa has suffered a range reduction following climate warming after last glacial maximum, which classify this species as cold-adapted among the Fabeae species as well as a glacial relict.


Conservation Genetic diversity Fabeae Last glacial maximum Population genetics Pisum Relict Vavilovia formosa 



The authors thank to A. Mikič for an inspiration of this study and to P.C. Tzedakis for discussions on the concept of the paper. M. Vishnyakova, VIR, Russia are acknowledged for facilitating access to respective herbarium specimens. This work was supported by Royal Society of Edinburgh fellowship (P.S. and G.K.) and Palacky University grant Agency IGA 2013_001, IGA 2014_001, IGA 2015_001 and IGA 2016_001 funding (P.S., M.CH., L.M., M.K.).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

606_2016_1368_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (174 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (PDF 173 kb)
606_2016_1368_MOESM2_ESM.fasta (32 kb)
Supplementary material 2 (fasta 33 kb)
606_2016_1368_MOESM3_ESM.pdf (241 kb)
Supplementary material 3 (PDF 240 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Wien 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Petr Smýkal
    • 1
  • Michala Chaloupská
    • 1
  • Michael Bariotakis
    • 2
  • Lucie Marečková
    • 1
  • Andrey Sinjushin
    • 3
  • Ivan Gabrielyan
    • 4
  • Janna Akopian
    • 4
  • Cengiz Toker
    • 5
  • Gregory Kenicer
    • 6
  • Miloslav Kitner
    • 1
  • Stergios Pirintsos
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Botany, Faculty of SciencesPalacký University in OlomoucOlomouc-HoliceCzech Republic
  2. 2.Department of Biology and Botanical GardenUniversity of CreteHeraklionGreece
  3. 3.Department of GeneticsLomonosov Moscow State UniversityMoscowRussia
  4. 4.National Academy of SciencesInstitute of BotanyYerevanArmenia
  5. 5.Akdeniz UniversityAntalyaTurkey
  6. 6.Royal Botanical Garden EdinburghEdinburghUK

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