Infraspecific genetic variation in Biscutella laevigata (Brassicaceae): new focus on Irene Manton's hypothesis
Genetic variation in 42 populations throughout the range of Biscutella laevigata L. (Brassicaceae), a morphologically variable central European species, has been investigated by enzyme electrophoresis with three loci (Amy1, Amy2, and Gpi2). Genetic identities and the Fitch-Margoliash tree suggest differentiation into four regional groups: 1) a northwestern diploid group (northern France and northern Germany), 2) a northeastern diploid group (southern Germany, Upper Austria, northern Lower Austria, Poland, and Romania), 3) a central diploid group in southern Lower Austria corresponding to subspecies austriaca, and 4) a southern tetraploid group in Alpine areas of France, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Italy, and Slovenia corresponding to subspecies laevigata. Geographically isolated diploid relic populations that are genetically depauperate are found in the NW and NE diploid groups. On the other hand, the diploid relic subspecies austriaca from the NE Prealps and Alps is highly variable. Subspecies laevigata appears to be a genetical autotetraploid with multiple origins involving several diploid progenitors (the NW diploids, subspecies austriaca and B. prealpina).
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