Plant Systematics and Evolution

, Volume 161, Issue 1–2, pp 13–21 | Cite as

Biochemical and morphological evidence for host race evolution in desert mistletoe,Phoradendron californicum (Viscaceae)

  • Jeffrey T. Glazner
  • B. Devlin
  • Norman C. Ellstrand


Allozymes and morphological characters were used to test whether host race evolution—the genetic divergence of parasitic populations caused by adaptation to different host species—has occurred in desert mistletoe,Phoradendron californicum. Populations ofPhoradendron californicum from two hosts,Acacia greggii andProsopis glandulosa, were surveyed from the Mojave and Colorado deserts. Electrophoretic data indicated genetic differentiation of mistletoes occurring on these hosts. Three of four morphological characters (internode length, main shoot lateral shoot diameter ratio and berry color) also showed significant host-specific differentiation. These data support the hypothesis that host race formation has occurred or is occurring in this parasitic angiosperm.

Key words

Angiosperms Fabales Viscaceae Phoradendron californicum Acacia greggii Prosopis glandulosa Electrophoresis allozymes isozymes host race evolution 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jeffrey T. Glazner
    • 1
  • B. Devlin
    • 1
  • Norman C. Ellstrand
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Botany & Plant SciencesUniversity of CaliforniaRiversideUSA

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