The current research aims to characterize the palynological features of members of the genus Cyclamen that are native to Turkey and to evaluate the similarities and dissimilarities between the palynologic and the taxonomic classification of the investigated Cyclamen taxa. In this context, 10 of 12 Cyclamen taxa (C. alpinum Dammann ex Spreng., C. cilicicum Boiss & Heldr., C. coum subsp. caucasicum (K. Koch) O. Schwarz, C. coum subsp. coum Mill. C. hederifolium Aiton, C. intaminatum (Meikle) Grey-Wilson, C. graecum subsp. anatolicum Ietsw, C. parviflorum Pobed., C. persicum Mill., C. repandum Sibth. & Sm.), were evaluated owing to their palynological features. While three of the investigated taxa (C. hederifolium, C. cilicicum, C. intaminatum) are in the vulnerable (Vu) category, four (C. cilicicum, C. intaminatum, C. alpinum C. parviflorum) are endemic to Turkey. Diversity was observed among the investigated taxa in terms of palynological characteristics such as pollen shape (oblate spheroidal, prolate spheroidal, prolate, subprolate and suboblate) and aperture type (colpate, colporate). Despite the observed variety of palynological features, the sculpturing pattern of the exine is uniform among the investigated taxa and defined as microverrucate. With regard to data from the PAST multivar-cluster analysis, the 10 taxa were seperated into two major groups based on palynological parameters. The first group includes C. graecum subsp. anatolicum, C. repandum, C. hederifolium and C. persicum, whereas the second comprises C. intaminatum, C. parviflorum, C. coum subsp. caucasicum, C. coum subsp. coum, C. alpinum and C. cilicicum. Although we expected the two subspecies of C. coum to resemble each other most closely, in fact the similarity of C. hederifolium to C. persicum was observed to be highest. As the taxonomic relationships of the genus Cyclamen are complex and unresolved, this research will be helpful in elucidating these relationships and providing insights for future phylogenetic research.
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Vol. 46 • No. 1