, Volume 124, Issue 1, pp 1-9

Ploidy distribution and DNA content variations of Lonicera caerulea (Caprifoliaceae) in Japan

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Ploidy level and geographical distribution were investigated in Japanese Lonicera caerulea L. Flow cytometric analysis revealed the presence of DNA diploid and DNA tetraploid plants in Japan. Chromosome observation confirmed that diploid and tetraploid plants showed 2n = 2x = 18 and 2n = 4x = 36, respectively. The DNA diploid populations were found only in lowland mires, Betsukai, Bekanbeushi, Kushiro and Kiritappu located in eastern Hokkaido. On the other hand, DNA tetraploid populations were distributed in a wide area of Hokkaido, and mainland of Japan. The habitats of DNA tetraploid plants were lowland to alpine region. The DNA content measurement with flow cytometry revealed significant differences in the relative DNA contents among DNA tetraploid populations. The relative DNA content within DNA tetraploid populations varied 1.157-fold at maximum, and might correlate with altitude indicating that DNA contents were smaller as altitude increases. The wide area of distribution in various environments of DNA tetraploid plants suggested the adaptability of the tetraploid plants. Although diploid and tetraploid populations were found, no triploid was detected, indicating crossing difficulty between diploid and tetraploid as confirmed by crossing experiment.