Plant Systematics and Evolution

, Volume 176, Issue 1–2, pp 53–61 | Cite as

Effect of the breeding system on the genetic structure in threeCephalanthera spp. (Orchidaceae)

  • Renato Scacchi
  • Gilberto De Angelis
  • Rosa Maria Corbo


The genetic variation of seven enzymes for a total of nine loci was investigated in three species of terrestrial orchids of the genusCephalanthera:C. longifolia, C. rubra, andC. damasonium. These species are characterized by presenting different breeding types: outbreeding , outbreeding with facultative vegetative reproduction, and inbreeding, respectively. Electrophoretic evidence points to a difference in the behaviour of each of the three species which seems strictly related to the breeding type. On the basis of our resultsC. longifolia behaves as a normal outbreeder, whileC. rubra presents the influence of vegetative reproduction in some populations and not in others.C. damasonium shows a total lack of both among and within populations genetic variation, which is most probably due to the autogamic breeding type.

Key words

Angiosperms monocotyledons Orchidaceae Cephalanthera Allozymes electrophoresis genetic variation breeding type 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Baur, B., Klemm, M., 1989: Absence of isozyme variation in geographically isolated populations of the land snailChondrina clienta. — Heredity63: 239–244.Google Scholar
  2. Brown, A. H. D., 1979: Enzyme polymorphism in plant populations. — Theor. Popul. Biol.15: 1–42.Google Scholar
  3. Crawford, D. J., Smith, E. B., 1982: Allozyme variation inCoreopsis nuecensoides andC. nuecensis (Compositae), a progenitor-derivative species pair. — Evolution36: 379–386.Google Scholar
  4. Gottlieb, L. D., 1981: Electrophoretic evidence and plant populations. — Progr. Phytochem.7: 1–46.Google Scholar
  5. Hamrick, J. L., 1982: Plant population genetics and evolution. — Amer. J. Bot.69: 1685–1693.Google Scholar
  6. Harris, H., Hopkinson, D. A., 1976: Handbook of enzyme electrophoresis in human genetics. — Amsterdam, Oxford, New York: North Holland.Google Scholar
  7. King, J. N., Dancik, B. P., 1983: Inheritance and linkage of isozymes in white spruce (Picea glauca). — Canad. J. Genet. Cytol.25: 430–436.Google Scholar
  8. Lang, D., 1989: Wild orchids of Great Britain and Ireland. — Oxford, New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  9. Loveless, M. D., Hamrick, J. L., 1984: Ecological determinants of genetic structure in plant populations. — Ann. Rev. Ecol. Syst.15: 65–95.Google Scholar
  10. Nei, M., 1972: Genetic distance between populations. — Amer. Naturalist106: 283–292.Google Scholar
  11. —, 1975: Molecular population genetics and evolution. — Amsterdam, Oxford, New York: North Holland.Google Scholar
  12. Nevo, E., 1978: Genetic variation in natural populations: patterns and theory. — Theor. Popul. Biol.13: 121–177.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. Pignatti, S., 1982: Flora d'Italia. — Bologna: Edagricole.Google Scholar
  14. Scacchi, R., De Angelis, G., 1989: Isoenzyme polymorphisms inGymnadenia conopsea and its inferences for systematics within this species. — Biochem. Syst. Ecol.17: 25–33.Google Scholar
  15. —, 1987: Study of electrophoretic variability inEpipactis helleborine (L.)Crantz,E. palustris (L.)Crantz, andE. microphylla (Ehrh.)Swartz (fam.Orchidaceae). — Genetica72: 217–224.Google Scholar
  16. —, 1990: Allozyme variation among and within elevenOrchis species (fam.Orchidaceae), with special reference to hybridizing aptitude. — Genetica81: 143–150.Google Scholar
  17. Shaw, C. R., Prasad, R., 1970: Starch gel electrophoresis of enzymes. A compilation of recipes. — Biochem. Genet.4: 297–320.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. Summerhayes, V. S., 1985: Wild orchids of Britain. — London: Collins.Google Scholar
  19. Tutin, T. G., Heywood, V. H., Burges, N. A., Moore, D. M., Valentine, D. H., Walters, S. M., Webb, D. A., 1980: Flora Europaea. 5. — Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  20. Vaquero, F., Vences, F. J., Garcia, P., Ramirez, L., Pérez de la Vega, M., 1989: Mating system in rye: variability in relation to the population and plant density. — Heredity62: 17–26.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  21. Weeden, N. F., Gottlieb, L. D., 1980: Isolation of cytoplasmic enzymes from pollen. — Pl. Physiol.66: 400–403.Google Scholar
  22. Ziegenspeck, H., 1936:Orchidaceae. — InKirchner, O., Loew, E., Schroeter, C., (Eds.): Lebensgeschichte der Blütenpflanzen Mitteleuropas. 1/4. — Stuttgart.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Renato Scacchi
    • 1
  • Gilberto De Angelis
    • 2
  • Rosa Maria Corbo
    • 1
  1. 1.CNR Centre of Evolutionary Genetics, Department of Genetics and Molecular BiologyUniversity “La Sapienza”RomeItaly
  2. 2.Promoter Committee of the Natural Regional Park of Mounts LucretiliRomeItaly

Personalised recommendations