Genetic Resources and Crop Evolution

, Volume 41, Issue 1, pp 13–25 | Cite as

The genome biogeography of Hibiscus L. section Furcaria DC

  • F. Douglas Wilson
Regular Research Papers


Hibiscus L. section Furcaria DC. (Malvaceae) is a natural group of more than 100 known species, many of which are handsome ornamentals with large, showy, delicate flowers. This group includes the fiber, food, and medicinal plants kenaf, H. cannabinus L., and roselle, H. sabdariffa L. The basic chromosome number is x = 18. In nature are found diploid, tetraploid, hexaploid, octoploid, and decaploid taxa. This group displays a remarkable amount of genome diversity, as shown by cytological analysis of 140 hybrid combinations from over 60,000 crosses. At least 13 genomes are present: A, B, C, D, E, G, H, J, P, R, V, X, and Y. Subsaharan Africa is the center of genome diversity; nine of the 13 genomes are represented in African taxa, and nine of the 10 confirmed diploid species occur in Africa. Five (possibly six) genomes reside in extant diploids. The G genome (or a modified G genome) is widely distributed. Found in only one diploid species in Africa, it is found also in African tetraploid and African and Indian octoploid species, in New World tetraploid and decaploid species, and in Australian hexaploid species. The G-genome apparently was widely dispersed and differentiated, followed by hybridization, subsequent chromosome doubling, and radiation. The A, B, X, and Y genomes, on the other hand, are confined mainly to Africa, with a few taxa in Asia, and apparently are the products of a later round of hybridization and allopolyploidy.

Key words

allopolyploidy genome analysis kenaf Malvaceae roselle 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • F. Douglas Wilson
    • 1
  1. 1.Western Cotton Research LaboratoryUSDA-ARSPhoenixUSA

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