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Relationships Between Two Subspecies in a Population of Prunella vulgaris L.

Andrew P. Nelson
Evolution
Vol. 18, No. 1 (Mar., 1964), pp. 43-51
DOI: 10.2307/2406418
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2406418
Page Count: 9
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Relationships Between Two Subspecies in a Population of Prunella vulgaris L.
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Abstract

The mixed population of Prunella vulgaris ssp. vulgaris and P. vulgaris ssp. lanceolata reported by Rubtzoff (1953) from Pitkin Marsh, Sonoma County, California, provides an opportunity for studying the relationship between these two subspecies under natural conditions. The presence of plants of these two subspecies and their identification as such has been confirmed by studies in the field, greenhouse, and garden. The presence of morphologically intermediate individuals suggests a limited amount of hybridization between the two subspecies. Plants grown from seed of ssp. vulgaris were quite uniform and typical of that subspecies as it occurs at Pitkin Marsh. Plants grown from seed of ssp. lanceolata gave evidence of a limited amount of introgression from ssp. vulgaris. Introgression is also suggested by the tendency of the progeny of intermediate plants to resemble ssp. lanceolata. The occurrence of introgessive hybridization implies the existence of partial reproductive isolation between ssp. vulgaris and ssp. lanceolata at Pitkin Marsh. It is suggested that a tendency towards cleistogamy in ssp. vulgaris and the numerical predominance of ssp. lanceolata may account for this. Evolutionary and taxonomic implications of this suggestion are discussed.

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