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Genetic evidence for host specificity in the hemi-parasitic Viscum album L. (Viscaceae)

Authors


Doris Zuber. Fax: +41 1 632 14 63; E-mail: zuber@geobot.umnw.ethz.ch

Abstract

Nuclear ribosomal DNA (nrDNA) ITS sequences and partial sequences of three non-coding chloroplast DNA (cpDNA) introns and spacers were used to assess genetic variation within and among three presumed host races of the hemi-parasite Viscum album L. Currently, identification of host races occurs via the host trees, and morphological differences are minute at best. cpDNA and nrDNA ITS sequences revealed little sequence variation, but the variation found consistently supported the distinction of three host races. cpDNA and ITS sequences were not incongruent, as assessed by the incongruence length difference test. A combined analysis supported the sister group relationship between mistletoes from deciduous trees and fir.

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