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Molecular and morphological evidence for hybrid origin and matroclinal inheritance of an endangered wild rose, Rosa  × pseudobanksiae (Rosaceae) from China


The distinction between hybrids and species of hybrid origin is significant for plant diversity conservation. Interspecific hybridization within the genus Rosa is a common phenomenon. Based on field observation, we hypothesized that one previously published species, Rosa pseudobanksiae (endangered category: CR) might be a hybrid. In this study, we utilized molecular approaches involving three nuclear markers and four plastid markers to examine the origin of R. pseudobanksiae. Our evidence shows that it is indeed a natural homoploid hybrid between R. banksiae var. normalis and R. multiflora var. cathayensis, and that gene flows bidirectionally. Our multivariate morphometric analyses provide strong evidence for a matrocliny in R.  × pseudobanksiae individuals. R.  × pseudobanksiae has diverse morphological variations among individuals andshares the overlapped distributions with its parental progenitors. This taxon has not developed into a stabilized and self-evolving lineage with the high sterility in seed sets.

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The research was partially supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 31670192); the Science and Technology Basic Work (Grant No. 2017FY100104) to X.-F.G. We also thank Zheng-Zhi Jiang for R.  × pseudobanksiae collection and Li-Bing Zhang for manuscript revision.

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Correspondence to Xin-Fen Gao.

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Zhang, C., Li, S., Zhang, Y. et al. Molecular and morphological evidence for hybrid origin and matroclinal inheritance of an endangered wild rose, Rosa  × pseudobanksiae (Rosaceae) from China. Conserv Genet 21, 1–11 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10592-019-01227-8

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  • Hybrids
  • Hybrid origin
  • Matrocliny
  • Progenitors
  • Rosa  × pseudobanksiae
  • Wild roses