Colonization history and introduction dynamics of Capsella bursa-pastoris (Brassicaceae) in North America: isozymes and quantitative traits


H. Hurka. Fax: +49-541-969-3171;


Multilocus isozyme genotypic composition for aspartate aminotransferase (AAT), leucine aminopeptidase (LAP) and glutamate dehydrogenase (GDH) was studied for Capsella in the source continent, Europe (9000 plants from 593 populations), and in the colonized continent, North America (2700 plants from 88 populations). North America was depauperate in the number of genotypes (by ≈ 50%), but in terms of frequencies, a few genotypes were common and shared by both continents. Although some, very rare, genotypes were, however, unique for North America, our data provided no evidence to indicate that the introduced gene pools were reconstructed on a multilocus genetic basis after introduction. Instead, they argued for a considerable number of independent introduction events. Geographical distribution patterns of multilocus genotypes in Europe and North America were pronounced and enabled us to trace the colonization history of Californian Capsella back to Spanish ancestral populations and those of temperate North America back to temperate European gene pools. A random-block field experiment with 14 Californian populations from different climatic regions revealed that variation patterns of quantitative traits reflect ecotypic variation, and the ecological amplitude of Capsella in North America is similar to that in Europe, which can be traced back to the introduction of preadapted genotypes. It appears that certain multilocus isozyme genotypes are associated with certain ecotypes. The variable European gene pool of Capsella was essentially introduced into North America without major genetic changes.