The genus Fritillaria
embraces up to 165 taxa in the family Liliaceae, most of which are of high medicinal and ornamental value and importance. In this study, 44 specimens of the genus representing 9 species were collected from their natural habitats located in 10 provinces of Iran. Phylogenetic analysis was performed based on DNA sequences of the internal transcribed spacer (ITS) of the nuclear ribosomal cistron and the trnL-trnF regions. The phylogeny was constructed using the neighbor joining inference method.
Results indicate that the examined samples were evidently diverged into 2 distinct clades. Members of the subgenera Fritillaria and Rhinopetalum formed one clade while the other clade contained the subgenera Theresia and Petilium. There can be seen a high degree of similarity between the only yellow-colored crown imperial specimen and the red-colored specimens. The endemic species of Fritillaria straussii
, Fritillaria zagrica
and Fritillaria kotschyana
which their status within the subgenera known in the genus Fritillaria
has been remained undefined, fell into the subgenus Fritillaria
. The clades also had relatively reasonable distribution patterns based on the genetic structure, geographical conditions and climate specifications. This study revealed the feasibility of the ITS and trnL-trnF DNA sequence for phylogeny of the genus Fritillaria
. This is the first phylogenetic analysis of Fritillaria
spp. in Iran.