Theoretical and Applied Genetics

, Volume 107, Issue 6, pp 1048–1058 | Cite as

Biodiversity assessment based on cpDNA and crossability analysis in selected species of Allium subgenus Rhizirideum

  • L. W. D. van RaamsdonkEmail author
  • W. Ensink
  • A. W. van Heusden
  • M. Vrielink-van Ginkel
  • C. Kik


The chloroplast DNA diversity of 33 accessions belonging to 16 species of five sections in Allium subgenus Rhizirideum was studied by analysing the sequence of three fragments: the trnL-F intergenic spacer, the rps 16 intron and rbcL (rubisco large subunit). The three sections Cepa, Schoenoprasum and Rhizirideum, representing the majority of the included species, each possess a separate clade after phylogenetic analysis. Exceptions to this general rule are the placement of Allium pskemense (section Cepa) connected to Allium senescens (section Rhizirideum) and Alium roylei, taking an intermediate position between sections Cepa and Schoenoprasum. Both species were located in their own section after nuclear DNA analysis. A range of crossing experiments has been carried out. The different position of A. roylei when comparing cpDNA and nDNA diversity was not confirmed with the production of hybrid seeds after crossing A. roylei with species other than those of section Cepa. The different position of A. pskemense in the cpDNA and the nDNA tree can not be compared to its crossability, since only a few crossing experiments are reported for this species. The hypothesis that a shorter distance between two species in a cpDNA tree compared to their distance in a nDNA tree will indicate interfertility at a certain level, is neither confirmed nor rejected by the currently available results.


Allium subgenus Rhizirideum Allium cepa Allium roylei Sequence analysis trnL rps16 rbcL Onion Phylogeny reconstruction cpDNA 



We thank our late colleague Dr. J.H. Sandbrink from Plant Research International for critically reading this manuscript and Dr. W. Koopman for assisting in the analyses. Dr. J. Keller (IPK, Gatersleben, Germany) kindly provided a range of different accessions from the Gatersleben collection. This research was supported by the EC-FAIR Programme (FAIR CT95-465) and by the Dutch Ministry of Agriculture, Nature Management and Fisheries.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • L. W. D. van Raamsdonk
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • W. Ensink
    • 1
  • A. W. van Heusden
    • 1
  • M. Vrielink-van Ginkel
    • 1
  • C. Kik
    • 1
  1. 1.Plant Research International, Business Unit Genetics and Breeding, P.O. Box 16, 6700 AA Wageningen, The Netherlands
  2. 2.RIKILT Institute for Food Safety, P.O. Box 230, 6700 AE Wageningen, The Netherlands

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