Microsatellite variation within and among North American lineages of Phragmites australis


K. Saltonstall. *Present address: Horn Point Laboratory, University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science, PO Box 775, Cambridge, MD 21613, USA. Fax: +1 410 221 8490; E-mail: kristin.saltonstall@aya.yale.edu


Over the past century, the spread of the common reed (Phragmites australis) has had a dramatic impact on wetland communities across North America. Although native populations of Phragmites persist, introduced invasive populations have dominated many sites and it is not clear if the two types can interbreed. This study compares patterns of differentiation in 10 microsatellite loci among North American and European Phragmites individuals with results obtained from sequencing of noncoding chloroplast DNA. Three population lineages (native, introduced and Gulf Coast) were previously identified in North America from chloroplast DNA and similar structuring was found in the nuclear genome. Each lineage was distinguished by unique alleles and allele combinations and the introduced lineage was closely related to its hypothesized source population in Europe. Size homoplasy and diagnostic base substitutions distinguishing lineages were evident at several loci, further emphasizing that native, introduced and Gulf Coast North American Phragmites lineages are genetically distinct. Gene flow between lineages was low and invasive introduced populations do not represent a hybrid population type.