Plant Systematics and Evolution

, Volume 304, Issue 3, pp 295–312 | Cite as

An overlooked hybrid between the two diploid Chenopodium species in Central Europe determined by microsatellite and morphological analysis

  • Eva Hodková
  • Bohumil Mandák
Original Article


The presence and extent of hybridization within the Chenopodium album aggregate (Amaranthaceae) is still unclear. Although many hybrid combinations have been described, their existence in the field has never been systematically studied and verified. The main aim of this study was to ascertain the extent of interspecific hybridization between the diploid species C. ficifolium and C. suecicum using highly variable nuclear microsatellite markers. Due to the absence of such kind of molecular markers for the whole C. album group, we divided the analysis into two steps: (1) Eleven microsatellite loci designed for the closely related species C. quinoa were cross-amplified in five Eurasian species of the C. album diploid–polyploid complex, i.e. C. album s.s. (6x), C. striatiforme (4x), C. strictum (4x), C. ficifolium (2x) and C. suecicum (2x); (2) For the detection of interspecific hybridization between C. ficifolium and C. suecicum, we sampled 480 individuals from five localities in Central Europe. We also investigated morphological differences between the parental taxa and their hybrid and devised a key for their determination. Analysis of variation in microsatellite loci using Bayesian methods, PCoA and Neighbour-joining tree identified 32 F1 hybrids. These F1 hybrids, described here as C. paradoxum Mandák, formed a cluster between well-differentiated parental species, combining the morphological characters of both their parents. Moreover, genetic analyses also recognized several F2 or backcross hybrids, whose delimitation, mainly from C. suecicum and F1 hybrids, based on morphological characters, is problematic.


Bayesian analyses Chenopodium Cross-amplification Determination key Hybridization Microsatellite New nothospecies 



We would like to thank Dagmar Boltíková, Petr Vít, Jan Machač and Pavel Trávníček for their help in the laboratory and field. Fred Rooks is thanked for helping with the language of the manuscript. We also would like to thank Pertti Uotila and Jindřich Chrtek for their discussion concerning nothospecies description.


This study was supported by the Grant Agency of the Czech Republic (13-02290S) and as part of long-term research development project RVO 67985939.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

The authors comply will all rules of the journal following the COPE guidelines; all authors have contributed and approved the final manuscript.

Supplementary material

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Supplementary material 6 (PDF 168 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Austria, part of Springer Nature 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Environmental SciencesCzech University of Life Sciences PraguePrague 6Czech Republic
  2. 2.Institute of Botany of the Czech Academy of SciencesPrůhoniceCzech Republic

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