Correlation analysis between the karyotypes and phenotypic traits of Chinese cymbidium cultivars

  • Huijuan Ning
  • Suyan Ao
  • Yirong Fan
  • Jianxin Fu
  • Chuanmei Xu
Research Report


Chinese cymbidium are a group of valuable ornamental plants that is formed by genetically distinct species. Currently, a robust Chinese cymbidium classification system, such as that based on cytotaxonomy, is lacking. To investigate the genetic variation within Chinese cymbidium, we selected 28 individual Chinese cymbidium cultivars as experimental material to perform karyotype analysis. The results showed that chromosome number among these 28 cultivars was constant and diploid (i.e., 2n = 40). In addition, no satellite chromosomes were observed. The karyotypes were more symmetrical and consisted mainly of 1B and 2B types with a small number of 2A and 2C types. Based on principal component analysis, the five karyotype parameters with the highest classification values were screened, which revealed that the mean of long to short arm ratio, the mean relative length of long arms, and the asymmetry coefficient of karyotypes (As.K.) were reliable parameters for use in Chinese cymbidium cytotaxonomy. Cluster analysis of karyotype parameters successfully identified cultivars of the bamboo petal, narcissus petal, and plum petal types, thus confirming the accuracy of the cytological classification system. Furthermore, flower traits of Chinese cymbidium were strongly correlated with karyotype parameters. Overall, we conclude that karyotype parameters can provide valuable information for studies on the classification, identification, and genetic diversity of Chinese cymbidium.


Chinese cymbidium Karyotype parameter Flower trait Leaf trait Correlation analysis Cytotaxonomy 

List of symbols


Asymmetry coefficient of karyotypes


Bract length in upper flowers


Comparison between bract length and ovary length in upper inflorescences






Flower number per scape


Growth morphology of inflorescences on the scape


Low flower stalk length


Leaf glossiness


Leaf properties


Length ratio of longest to shortest chromosomes


Leaf shape


Leaf width


Median-centromere chromosome


Mean of long to short arm ratio


Mean relative length of long arms




Plant height


Presence of orchid paste


Presence of petiole joints


Presence of shining small papillae on the labellum


Petal type


Scape height


Sheath length at the base of inflorescences


Serrated leaf margins


Submedian-centromere chromosome


Subterminal-centromere chromosome


Variation of long to short arm ratio


Variance of relative length of chromosomes


Whether the leaf vein is obvious



This work was supported by the Flower Breeding of New Varieties Project for Zhejiang Science and Technology Department (Grant number 2009C12087).

Supplementary material

13580_2018_10_MOESM1_ESM.docx (879 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 878 kb)
13580_2018_10_MOESM2_ESM.xlsx (15 kb)
Supplementary material 2 (XLSX 15 kb)


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Copyright information

© Korean Society for Horticultural Science and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Huijuan Ning
    • 1
  • Suyan Ao
    • 1
  • Yirong Fan
    • 1
  • Jianxin Fu
    • 1
  • Chuanmei Xu
    • 2
  1. 1.School of Landscape ArchitectureZhejiang Agriculture & Forestry UniversityLin’anChina
  2. 2.School of Forestry and Bio-technologyZhejiang Agriculture & Forestry UniversityLin’anChina

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