Research Article
Research Article
Chromosome numbers for the Italian flora: 6
expand article infoLorenzo Peruzzi, Giovanni Astuti, Salvatore Cambria§, Leonardo Cresti, Jacopo Franzoni, Francesco Roma-Marzio|, Mario Spezia
‡ Università di Pisa, Pisa, Italy
§ Università di Catania, Catania, Italy
| Sistema Museale di Ateneo dell’Università di Pisa, Pisa, Italy
¶ Unaffiliated, Verona, Italy
Open Access


In this contribution, new chromosome data obtained on material collected in Italy are presented. It includes three chromosome counts for Bupleurum baldense Turra, Colchicum lusitanum Brot., and Euphorbia gasparrinii Boiss. subsp. gasparrinii.


cytogeography, cytotaxonomy, chromosome number instability

How to contribute

Texts concerning new chromosome data should be submitted electronically to Giovanni Astuti (, including indications on voucher specimens and methods used.

Chromosome counts

Bupleurum baldense Turra (Apiaceae)

Chromosome number. 2n = 16 (Fig. 1)

Voucher specimen. ITALY. Toscana. Parco Nazionale delle Foreste Casentinesi (San Godenzo, Firenze), Passo del Muraglione lungo il sentiero che porta al Colle tre Faggi (WGS84: 43.92993 N, 11.65807 E), faggeta e ambienti rupestri, 900–950 m, 21 July 2018, F. Roma-Marzio & L. Peruzzi (diaspores collected in the field and stored in the Germplasm Bank of Department of Biology, Pisa, under acc. n° 20180055).

Figure 1. 

Bupleurum baldense Turra, 2n = 16. Scale bar: 10 μm.

Method. Squash preparations were made on root-tips obtained from germinating seeds. Root tips were pre-treated with 0.4% colchicine for 3 hours and then fixed in Carnoy fixative solution for 1 hour. After hydrolysis in HCl 1N at 60 °C, the tips were stained in leuco-basic fuchsine.

Observations. Bupleurum baldense is a European species, whose range extends from W Europe (Spain, France, Great Britain) to Albania (Snogerup and Snogerup 2001, Euro+Med 2006 onwards). Despite this species was originally described for Italy (Snogerup and Snogerup 2001), this is the first count for Italian material (Bedini et al. 2010 onwards). Our count is consistent with previous ones published from Spain (Ruiz de Clavijo Jiménez 1993) and France (Cauwet 1967, 1978, Delay 1969, Natarajan 1978, Van Loon et al. 1971, Afzal-Rafii et al. 1985, Snogerup 1994).

F. Roma-Marzio, J. Franzoni, L. Peruzzi

Colchicum lusitanum Brot. (Colchicaceae)

Chromosome number. 2n = 108 (Fig. 2)

Voucher specimen. ITALY. Veneto. Verona, in loc. Tre Tempi a nord di Avesa (WGS84: 45.490047 N, 10.982780 E), prato arido su calcare, 340 m, May 2018, M. Spezia (corms cultivated in the Botanic Garden of Pisa, under acc. n° 2018-284).

Figure 2. 

Colchicum lusitanum Brot., 2n = 108. Scale bar: 10 μm.

Method. Squash preparations were made on root-tips obtained from potted corms. Root tips were pre-treated with 0.4% colchicine for 3 hours and then fixed in Carnoy fixative solution for 1 hour. After hydrolysis in HCl 1N at 60 °C, the tips were stained in leuco-basic fuchsine.

Observations. Colchicum lusitanum is a W Mediterranean species, whose occurrence is well documented for Sardegna and for all central and southern Italian peninsular regions (Bartolucci et al. 2018). According to the latter authors, concerning northern Italy, this species is recorded also for Lombardia, Liguria, and doubtfully for Piemonte. Therefore, the studied population represents a new record for Veneto and for the whole NE Italy. Our chromosome count is in accordance with those reported by Persson (2009) for Toscana and Sardegna. On the contrary, D’Amato (1955, 1957) and Baldini (1997) reported a slightly different number, 2n = 106, for many populations from central and southern Italy, including Toscana and Sardegna. For the latter region, Camarda (1979) published also a 2n = ca. 110 count. All these chromosome numbers were also reported by Fernandes and França (1977) for plants from Portugal. It is possible that 2n = 106 and 2n = ca. 110 are miscounts for 2n = 108, but we cannot exclude some degree of chromosome number instability within this species. Similar disagreements in chromosome counts can be found also in C. autumnale L. and C. gonarei Camarda. For the former species, D’Amato (1955, 1957) and Peruzzi and Galasso (2012) reported 2n = 38, whereas Persson (2009) 2n = 36 chromosomes; for the second species, Camarda (1978) reported 2n = 180, whereas Persson (2009) 2n = 182 chromosomes. Persson (2009) herself documented chromosome number instability in other Colchicum taxa, such as C. neapolitanum (Ten.) Ten. subsp. gracile (K.Perss.) Fridl., C. neapolitanum subsp. neapolitanum, and C. triphyllum Kunze, with 2n = 80/82, 2n = 90/92, and 2n = 60/62 chromosomes respectively, often within a single population.

G. Astuti, J. Franzoni, M. Spezia, L. Peruzzi

Euphorbia gasparrinii Boiss. subsp. gasparrinii (Euphorbiaceae)

Chromosome number. 2n = 32 (Fig. 3)

Voucher specimen. ITALY. Sicilia. Parco regionale dei Nebrodi, Alcara Li Fusi (Messina), presso lago Maulazzo (WGS84: 37.940919 N, 14.670092 E), pascoli montani con Cirsium vallis-demonii Lojac. al margine della faggeta su substrato argilloso, 1450 m, 26 July 2018, S. Cambria (PI n° 012346).

Figure 3. 

Euphorbia gasparrinii Boiss. subsp. gasparrinii, 2n = 32. Scale bar: 10 μm.

Method. Squash preparations were made on root-tips obtained from germinating seeds. Root tips were pre-treated with 0.4% colchicine for 3 hours and then fixed in Carnoy fixative solution for 1 hour. After hydrolysis in HCl 1N at 60 °C, the tips were stained in leuco-basic fuchsine.

Observations.Euphorbia gasparrinii subsp. gasparrinii is a taxon endemic to S Italy, i.e. Sicily and Calabria, possibly extinct in the latter region (Bartolucci et al. 2018). Cresti et al. (2019) highlight a close morphometric and phylogenetic relationship of this subspecies with the allopatric E. gasparrinii subsp. samnitica (Fiori) Pignatti, endemic to C Italy (Abruzzo, Marche, and Molise). The same authors also hypothesized a putative tetraploid level for E. gasparrinii subsp. gasparrinii, by means of cytofluorimetric Relative Genome Size estimations. This is the first chromosome count for this taxon (Bedini et al. 2010 onwards), verified on the same Sicilian population studied by Cresti et al. (2019). Our count fully confirms the tetraploid status of this subspecies, given that E. gasparrinii subsp. samnitica was repeatedly reported as diploid with 2n = 16 chromosomes (Tessitore et al. 1993, Peruzzi and Cesca 2002, Cresti et al. 2019).

L. Cresti, S. Cambria, L. Peruzzi


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