The presence and extent of hybridization within the Chenopodium album aggregate (Amaranthaceae) is still unclear. Although many hybrid combinations have been described, their existence in the field has never been systematically studied and verified. The main aim of this study was to ascertain the extent of interspecific hybridization between the diploid species C. ficifolium and C. suecicum using highly variable nuclear microsatellite markers. Due to the absence of such kind of molecular markers for the whole C. album group, we divided the analysis into two steps: (1) Eleven microsatellite loci designed for the closely related species C. quinoa were cross-amplified in five Eurasian species of the C. album diploid–polyploid complex, i.e. C. album s.s. (6x), C. striatiforme (4x), C. strictum (4x), C. ficifolium (2x) and C. suecicum (2x); (2) For the detection of interspecific hybridization between C. ficifolium and C. suecicum, we sampled 480 individuals from five localities in Central Europe. We also investigated morphological differences between the parental taxa and their hybrid and devised a key for their determination. Analysis of variation in microsatellite loci using Bayesian methods, PCoA and Neighbour-joining tree identified 32 F1 hybrids. These F1 hybrids, described here as C. paradoxum Mandák, formed a cluster between well-differentiated parental species, combining the morphological characters of both their parents. Moreover, genetic analyses also recognized several F2 or backcross hybrids, whose delimitation, mainly from C. suecicum and F1 hybrids, based on morphological characters, is problematic.
Plant Systematics and Evolution – Springer Journals
Published: Dec 26, 2017
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