Commission for Karyosystematics

In 1991, under the auspices of this Commission, the publication of a standing column in "Flora Mediterranea", with the title "Mediterranean chromosome number reports", began. The first series (Fl. Medit. 1:223-245) comprised 45 numbered reports. The editors are G. Kamari, F. Felber and F. Garbari.

The Commission, through its Secretary, also started a "Chromosome News" column in the OPTIMA Newsletter, in which references to published papers were listed together with research projects.

In 1993 the Commission also actively promoted the preparation of a Karyosystematic database. A working group consisting of scientists from the Botanical Institutes of the Universities of Neuchâtel (Ph. Küpfer, F. Felber), Patras (G. Kamari, A. Anagnostopoulos), and Pisa (F. Garbari, C. del Prete, G. Bedini) held a preliminary meeting in Neuchâtel (Switzerland) on 1-2 May 1993 and prepared a concise description of the database design. Detailed information on the project and the planned data structure, together with an invitation for cooperation, were presented by Felber & al. during the Symposium on "Disploidy and evolution in the Mediterranean flora" on 21 July 1993 at the VII OPTIMA Meeting in Borovetz. Küpfer and Felber obtained a grant for funding the database from the Swiss Federal Office for Education and Science, while del Prete and Kamari submitted grant applications to the Italian Research Centre and the EU respectively.

At the Commission Meeting held on 4 September 2004 in Belgrade, the Secretary of the Commission reported that the column "Mediterranean Chromosome Number Reports" in Flora Mediterranea has been published for fourteen years now. So far, 1,414 chromosomal records have been published, covering most of the Mediterranean countries or territories included in the Med-Checklist and the Caucasus area. It was noted that compared to the number of contributions in Flora Mediterranea 9-11, there has been a 60% decrease, which is indicative of the current trend of researchers focusing on molecular studies. The Commission recognised the importance of encouraging karyosystematic studies among young scientists.

 With regard to molecular systematics, the Commission decided to include this type of data in the existing column in Flora Mediterranea and invited S. Siljak-Yakovlev to be one of the editors of this column.

 The karyological database "PhytoKaryon" remains operational thanks to a small grant from Patras University. "PhytoKaryon" now contains over 45,000 records, corresponding to more than 11,000 plant taxa and based on more than 1,200 bibliographical references. Provisions have been made for the addition of biosystematic data and a sample data set has been tested. Part of the data included in the database can be accessed at:

The Commission suggested that molecular systematic data should also be included in "PhytoKaryon". Prof. Sonia Siljak-Yakovlev will be in charge of adding this data.

 The Secretary of the Commission pointed out that "PhytoKaryon" also provides links to four other notable karyological databases:

1)      BSBI Database – Cytology at from the Royal Botanical Garden Edinburgh, covering taxa of the British and Irish flora.

2)      Chromosome numbers for the Italian flora at from the Department of Botanical Sciences of Pisa University (F. Garbari).

3)      Cromocat (part of the general Catalan biodiversity database BIOCAT at University of Barcelona (C. Blanché).

4)      Index to Plant Chromosome Numbers (IPCN) (Missouri Botanical Garden - w3TROPICOS) at

The Commission suggested that it would be of interest to link a bibliographic database to the Euro-Med and Med-Checklist databases.

In 2005, the Commission prepared its “Mediterranean chromosome number reports” edited by G. Kamari, C. Blanché and F. Garbari as a standing column in Flora Mediterranea. This year the column contained contributions on 42 taxa.

In 2006, the Commission prepared its “Mediterranean chromosome number reports” edited by G. Kamari, C. Blanché and F. Garbari as a standing column in Flora Mediterranea. This year the column contained contributions on 160 taxa.

For further information, please contact Commission's Secretary (2001-2007):


Commission for Karyosystematics


G. Kamari
Botanical Institute, Dep. Biology University of Patras, GR-26500 Patras, GREECE
Tel: +30 61 997641; Fax: +30 61 997275; E-mail:


M. Anchev, Sofia
C. Blanché i Vergès, Barcelona
M. Bedalov, Zagreb
L. Borgen, Oslo
M. Erben, München
F. Garbari, Pisa
M. Johnson, Kew
Ph. Küpfer, Neuchâtel
J. A. Mejías, Sevilla
E. Nazarova, Erevan
C. Oberprieler, Berlin
N. Özhatay, Istanbul
F. Sales, Coimbra
S. Siljak-Yakovlev, Orsay
S. Snogerup, Lund
R. Verlaque, Marseille
D. Zohary, Jerusalem

Page editors. This page last updated 1 September, 2007.