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Polyploid Evolution and Biogeography in Chelone (Scrophulariaceae): Morphological and Isozyme Evidence

Allan D. Nelson and Wayne J. Elisens
American Journal of Botany
Vol. 86, No. 10 (Oct., 1999), pp. 1487-1501
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2656929
Page Count: 15
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Polyploid Evolution and Biogeography in Chelone (Scrophulariaceae): Morphological and Isozyme Evidence
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Abstract

Chelone is a genus of perennial herbs comprising three diploid species (C. cuthbertii, C. glabra, and C. lyonii) and a fourth species (C. obliqua) that occurs as tetraploid and hexaploid races. To assess patterns of isozyme and morphological variation, and to test hypotheses of hybridization and allopolyploidy, we analyzed variation among 16 isozyme loci from 61 populations and 16 morphological characters from 33 populations representing all taxa and ploidy levels. Based on morphological analyses using clustering (unweighted pair group method using an arithmetic average) and ordination (principal components analysis and canonical variance analysis) methods, we recognize three diploid species without infraspecific taxa. Polyploids in the C. obliqua complex were most similar morphologically to diploid populations of C. glabra and C. lyonii. Patterns of isozyme variation among polyploids, which included fixed heterozygosity and recombinant profiles of alleles present in diploids, suggested polytopic origins of tetraploids and hexaploids. Our data indicate independent origins of polyploids in or near the southern Blue Ridge, Interior Highlands and Plains, and Atlantic Coastal Plain regions from progenitors most similar to C. glabra and C. lyonii. Extant tetraploids were not implicated in evolution of hexaploids, and plants similar to C. cuthbertii appeared unlikely as diploid progenitors for polyploids. We propose multiple differentiation and hybridization/polyploidization cycles in different geographic regions to explain the pattern of allopatry and inferred polytopic origins among polyploids.

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