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AFLP analyses demonstrate genetic divergence, hybridization, and multiple polyploidization in the evolution of Achillea (Asteraceae-Anthemideae)

Authors

  • Yan-Ping Guo,

    1. Department of Higher Plant Systematics and Evolution, Institute of Botany, University of Vienna, Rennweg 14, Vienna, A-1030, Austria;
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  • Johannes Saukel,

    1. Institute of Pharmacognosy, University of Vienna, Althanstraße 14, Vienna, A-1090, Austria
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  • Reginsa Mittermayr,

    1. Institute of Pharmacognosy, University of Vienna, Althanstraße 14, Vienna, A-1090, Austria
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  • Friedrich Ehrendorfer

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Higher Plant Systematics and Evolution, Institute of Botany, University of Vienna, Rennweg 14, Vienna, A-1030, Austria;
      Author for correspondence: Friedrich Ehrendorfer Tel: +43 (1) 4277 54154 Fax: +43 (1) 4277 9541 Email: friedrich.ehrendorfer@univie.ac.at
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Author for correspondence: Friedrich Ehrendorfer Tel: +43 (1) 4277 54154 Fax: +43 (1) 4277 9541 Email: friedrich.ehrendorfer@univie.ac.at

Summary

  • • Achillea, a temperate genus of herbaceous allogamous perennials, is a model for evolutionary radiation through hybridization and polyploidization.
  • • AFLP analyses were performed on 300 individuals of 66 populations and 27 taxa/cytotypes, mainly from the polyploid A. millefolium aggregate and its suspected hybrid links with other clades of the genus.
  • • The mosaic genetic structure of hybrids and polyploids is revealed by specific AFLP bands shared with their assumed parents. In E Asia, A. alpina-4x and A. wilsoniana-4x are allotetraploids between A. acuminata-2x (sect. Ptarmica) and A. asiatica-2x (sect. Achillea-A. millefolium agg.). A. virescens-4x is a hybrid species linking A. nobilis agg. and A. millefolium agg. in S Europe. The hybrid swarm A. clypeolata-2x ¥ A. collina-4x recently formed in Bulgaria shows no AFLP bands additive to its parents; by contrast, other more ancient allopolyploids exhibit genetic innovations. Relationships within A. millefolium agg. are complex. Five 2x-taxa, mostly well separated and regressive, are limited to Eurasia; seven 4x- and 6x-taxa are intimately linked by hybridization, are expansive, and through A. asiatica-2x/4x have formed the N American polyploids.
  • • All these results from AFLPs correspond well to other evidence, and indicate a long history of reticulate evolution in Achillea.

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