Sympatric occurrences of various cytotypes of Vaccinium sect. Oxycoccus (Ericaceae)



Flow cytometry was employed to estimate ploidy levels in Vaccinium sect. Oxycoccus. Twelve localities in the Czech Republic, Sweden and Denmark were studied in detail in order to investigate the potential sympatric growth of various cytotypes. Diploid V. microcarpum and tetraploid, pentaploid and hexaploid individuals of V. oxycoccos were found among the 296 accessions analyzed. Both species as well as various (up to all three) ploidy levels of V. oxycoccos co-occurred at the same locality. Mixed accessions (containing various cytotypes) were even ascertained on a very fine spatial scale (20 × 20 cm). Pentaploid plants of probable hybrid origin have been found in Sweden for the first time. The population growing on peat bog near Lyngby, Copenhagen (Denmark) consisted of both hexaploids and tetraploids. This site refers to the discovery of hexaploid cranberries in the late twentieths of the last century. The results represent further support for merging of all polyploid cytotypes (4x—6x) into a single taxon.