Chromosome Number Variation in Iranian Populations of Acorus calamus

Document Type : Research Article


Department of Biology, Faculty of Sciences, Payame Noor University, Tehran, Iran


Different ploidy levels, diploid (2n=2x=24) to hexaploid (2n=6x=72) have been reported for Acorus calamus, a perennial medicinal plant. According to available information, there is a significant relationship between the ploidy level and essential oil compositions and medicinal properties of this important genetic resource. However, there is no information about the chromosome number of A. calamus that has been recently rediscovered in Iran. This research was conducted to determine the chromosome number and ploidy level of three A. calamus populations in Iran. The fresh roots were removed from the rhizome and pretreated in 0.002 Mole of 8-hydroxyquinoline and fixed in Ethanol: acetic acid solution for 24 hours. The fixed roots were macerated in 60° C in 1N HCl for about 30 minutes. A squash technique was used with 2% aqueous aceto-orcein as the stain. The somatic chromosome number and karyotype details were studied at least in five well-prepared metaphase plates for each population. The populations studied showed interesting diversity in cytogenetic features; chromosome number and ploidy level. Arzefon and Pelesk populations had two different chromosome number; 2n=2x=24 and 2n=3x=36, while Alandan population had 2n=3x=36 chromosome number. The haploid total chromosomes length of Arzefon, Pelesk, and Alandan populations were 13.28, 11.33 and 11.3 µm respectively. The longest chromosome was 1.48 µm in Arzefon population and the shortest chromosome with a size of 0.61 µm observed in Pelesk population. The existence of this genetic diversity is important in domestication strategies and the use of appropriate cytotype. Based on the results of this research and available information, the basic chromosome number of A. calamus is x = 12.


Gholipour A, Sonboli A. 2013. Rediscovery of Acorus calamus (Acoraceae) in Iran. Taxonomy and Biosystematics 5: 113-116.
Gholipour A, Sonboli A, Golshahi M. 2015. Comparative study of essential oil composition of the aerial parts of three populations of Acorus calamus in Iran. J Med Plants 4: 87- 94.
Hong W, Wen-Li L, Zhi-Jian G, Yong-Yan C. 2001. Cytological study on Acorus L. in Southwestern China, with some cytogeographical notes on A. calamus. Acta Bot Sin 43: 354-358.
Jervis RA, Buell MF. 1964. Acorus calamus in New Jersey. Bull Torrey Bot Club 91: 335-336.
Kumar K, Singh M. 2015. Chromosomal diversity among different ecotypes of Acorus calamus L. Reported from Ranchi Jharkhand, India. Int J Bioassays 4: 3656-3658.
Lander V, Schreier P. 1990. Acorenone and γ -asarone: indicators of the origin of calamus oils (Acorus calamus L.). Flav Fragr J 5: 75-79.
Larsen, K. 1969. Cytology of vascular plants III. A study of Thai aroids. Dansk Bot Arkiv (Studies in the Flora of Thailand, 54) 27: 39-60.
Marchant CJ. 1973. Chromosome variation in Araceae: V. Acoreae to Lasieae. Kew Bull 28: 199-210.
Mittal N, Varshney VK, Song BH, Ginwal HS. 2015. High levels of diversity in the phytochemistry, ploidy and genetics of the medicinal plant Acorus calamus L. Med Aromat Plants S1: 002. doi:10.4172/2167-0412.S1-002.
Mokarizadeh A, Ramezani E, Naqinezhad AR, Joosten H. 2016. Palynological reconstruction of 1700 years' vegetation dynamics in suburban Urmia, northwestern Iran: the role of climate and humans. Phys Geog Res 48 (3): 385-393.
Mookerjea A. 1955. Cytology of different species of Aroids with a view to trace the basis of their evolution. Caryologia 7: 221-291.
Ogra PK, Mohanpuria P, Sharma UK, Sharma M, Sinha AK, Ahuja, P S. 2009. Indian calamus (Acorus calamus L.): not a tetraploid. Curr Sci India 97: 1644-1647.
Ramachandran K. 1978. Cytological studies on South Indian Araceae. Cytologia 43: 289-303.
Soltis D, Soltis P S, Bennett M D, Leitch I J. 2003. Evolution of genome size in the angiosperms. Am J Bot 90: 1596-1603.
Subramanian D, Munian M. 1988. Cytotaxnomical studies in South Indian Araceae. Cytologia 53: 59-66.