Analysis of the morphological traits of leaves, genetic variability (analyzed by AFLP) and chemical composition of essential oils (analyzed by GC-MS) was conducted on eleven populations of the endemic Illyric-Balcanic species Teucrium arduini L. in Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Montenegro. Average blade length and width ranged from 20.00 to 31.47mm and from 11.58 to 15.66mm, respectively. Multivariate analysis (PCA, UPGMA) of morphological traits distinguished two continental Bosnian populations from the remaining populations. AFLP analysis separated the investigated populations into two groups based primarily on geographical distance. Essential oil analysis showed a total of 52 compounds, with two chemotypes distinguished based on the essential oil profile. The first was a sesquiterpene chemotype, with β-caryophyllene, germacrene D or caryophyllene oxide as the major compounds, while the second was an oxygenated monoterpene chemotype, with pulegone and piperitone oxide as the main components. The Mantel test showed a stronger correlation between the morphological traits and AFLP than between the essential oil profile and AFLP. The test also showed a stronger association between the essential oil profile and geographical position than between the morphological traits and geographical position.
Keywords: AFLP; Essential oil; Morphology; Phytochemistry; Teucrium arduini.
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