Plant Systematics and Evolution

, Volume 301, Issue 3, pp 883–892 | Cite as

Natural hybridization among subspecies of Turnera sidoides L. (Passifloraceae) revealed by morphological and genetic evidence

  • E. M. Sara Moreno
  • Pablo R. Speranza
  • Juan M. Roggero Luque
  • Viviana G. Solís Neffa
Original Article


Turnera sidoides is a complex of outcrossing, perennial, rhizomatous herbs that is widely distributed in southern South America. Five subspecies are recognized taxonomically based on morphological features and geographical distribution. In certain regions, the areas of distribution of the subspecies overlap partially. In such contact zones, the extent of reproductive barriers among subspecies is still largely unknown, but morphologically intermediate individuals have been found in the field, indicating that hybridization may actually occur between subspecies. Crossability among subspecies of T. sidoides has been shown by experimental studies with cultivated plants, but the mechanisms involved in natural populations are still unknown. To investigate the mechanisms that underlie gene flow within the T. sidoides complex, in this paper we analyze the morphological and genetic variation, as well as the crossability among taxa in a contact zone between subspecies pinnatifida and sidoides, in southeastern Uruguay. Our results constitute the first evidences of ongoing natural hybridization between subspecies of T. sidoides and suggest that, although hybridization may not have been of significance in the early phase of the species differentiation, reticulate evolution is ongoing enhancing the current morphological and genetic variability of the complex.


Turnera sidoides Hybridization Gene flow RAPD 



This research was partially supported by grants of Agencia Nacional de Promoción Científica, Tecnológica y de Innovación (ANPCyT- FONCyT, PICT 14674 and 01-1329; PICTO 07-90), National Research Council of Argentina (CONICET, PIP 5998) and Secretaría General de Ciencia y Técnica (UNNE, PI-013/04 and PI-014/07). E.M.S. Moreno and J.M. Roggero Luque are Doctoral Fellows of CONICET, and V.G. Solís Neffa is a member of the Carrera del Investigador Científico of CONICET.

Supplementary material

606_2014_1122_MOESM1_ESM.doc (143 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOC 143 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Wien 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • E. M. Sara Moreno
    • 1
    • 2
  • Pablo R. Speranza
    • 3
  • Juan M. Roggero Luque
    • 1
    • 2
  • Viviana G. Solís Neffa
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Instituto de Botánica del Nordeste, UNNE, Facultad de Ciencias Agrarias-CONICETCorrientesArgentina
  2. 2.Facultad de Ciencias Exactas y Naturales y Agrimensura, UNNECorrientesArgentina
  3. 3.Departamento de Biología Vegetal, Facultad de AgronomíaUniversidad de la RepúblicaMontevideoUruguay

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