Hybridization has a number of ecological and evolutionary consequences by either increasing intraspecific genetic diversity or by altering morphological characters and secondary chemical content of recombinant individuals. In this paper, we reanalyzed through nSSR and secondary metabolites four mixed stands between Tithonia tubaeformis and T. rotundifolia previously studied with RAPD markers. We amplified nSSR regions to classify individuals in mixed stands as pure or admixed individuals. Then, we explored the chemical profile of each individual in pure and mixed stands by scoring the presence/absence of one abundant flavonoid unique to T. tubaeformis and two sesquiterpene lactones unique to T. rotundifolia. Bayesian analysis of SSR data revealed the presence of pure and admixed individuals in all but one mixed stand, where no pure T. tubaeformis individuals were found. Also, contrary to previous RAPD analysis, we identified a significant number of backcrosses toward T. tubaeformis in two mixed stands. Regarding secondary chemical profiles, pure T. tubaeformis and T. rotundifolia showed characteristic chemical profiles, while admixed individuals showed a mosaic of chemical profiles; some individuals exhibited additivity, while most individuals identified as backcrosses showed dominance. However, some individuals identified as backcrosses toward T. tubaeformis lacked parental compounds, and a new chemical profile was recorded. A new flavonoid (5,3′,4′-trihydroxy-6,7,8-trimethoxyflavanone) was found in these individuals exhibiting the new chemical profile. We suggest that the presence of admixed individuals with novel combinations of secondary metabolites may increase their fitness due to their phytotoxicity and also by the protectant activities against insect herbivores and environmental stress.
Plant Systematics and Evolution – Springer Journals
Published: Dec 1, 2017
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