Plant Systematics and Evolution

, Volume 299, Issue 8, pp 1523–1535

Ecotypes and genetic structure of Rhinanthus alectorolophus (Orobanchaceae) in southwestern Germany

  • Thekla Pleines
  • Korinna Esfeld
  • Frank R. Blattner
  • Mike Thiv
Original Article

Abstract

European annual species of the genus Rhinanthus often exhibit seasonal ecotypic variation, a phenomenon also known from related genera of hemiparasitic Orobanchaceae. Populations with different flowering times exist, correlated with differences in a number of morphological characters. The present study evaluates the correlation of morphological characters and genetic differentiation of populations of Rhinanthus alectorolophus. Thirty-nine populations of three different subspecies from southwestern Germany were sampled. A total of 798 individuals were used for morphological analyses and 187 of these for AFLP analyses. Principal component analysis showed that morphological variation is mostly continuous. In a discriminant analysis based on morphological characters, only 89.7 % of all individuals were correctly assigned to their previously determined subspecies, indicating that subspecies identification is ambiguous for some populations. Using AFLP data and Bayesian assignment analysis, the sampled individuals could be grouped in three genetic clusters which do not correspond to the three subspecies. Instead, the clustering shows a clear geographic pattern and a Mantel test likewise revealed a significant correlation between genetic and geographic distances. Correlations of genetic distances with differences in morphological characters were weak and mostly insignificant. The results indicate that the subspecies of R. alectorolophus do not form discrete entities and that the character combinations distinguishing them are homoplastic.

Keywords

AFLP Isolation by distance Morphology Orobanchaceae Rhinanthus alectorolophus Ecotypes Subspecies 

Supplementary material

606_2013_816_MOESM1_ESM.eps (89 kb)
Supplementary material 1 Fig. S1. Estimation of the appropriate number of clusters by Structure analysis of AFLP data from 38 populations of R. alectorolophus from Baden-Württemberg for K = 1 through K = 20. One run from K = 3 is excluded because it did not converge. a. Graph showing L(K) values (method of Pritchard et al. 2000). b. Graph showing ΔK values for each K (method of Evanno et al. 2005). (EPS 88 kb)

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Wien 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Thekla Pleines
    • 1
  • Korinna Esfeld
    • 1
    • 2
  • Frank R. Blattner
    • 3
  • Mike Thiv
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of BotanyStuttgart State Museum of Natural HistoryStuttgartGermany
  2. 2.Institute of Plant SciencesUniversity of BernBernSwitzerland
  3. 3.Departmentof GenebankLeibniz Institute of Plant Genetics and Crop Plant Research (IPK)GaterslebenGermany

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