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Genetic Resources and Crop Evolution

, Volume 59, Issue 8, pp 1805–1822 | Cite as

Wild and weedy Lactuca species, their distribution, ecogeography and ecobiology in USA and Canada

  • Aleš Lebeda
  • Ivana Doležalová
  • Alžběta Novotná
Research Article

Abstract

During 2002, 2004, 2006 and 2008, trips were undertaken in the United States and Canada by members of the Department of Botany, Palacký University in Olomouc (Czech Republic) to record distributions and sample the diversity of wild and weedy Lactuca species. In that period, 16 states in the USA (Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Iowa, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington, Wisconsin, Wyoming) and two provinces in Canada (Ontario, Quebec) were visited. Seven wild and weedy Lactuca species (L. serriola, L. saligna, L. virosa, L. canadensis, L. biennis, L. floridana, L. ludoviciana), an interspecific hybrid (L. canadensis × L. ludoviciana), and an undetermined Lactuca species were recorded, and 343 seed samples were collected from 200 locations. The largest number of wild Lactuca species that we observed was recorded in Iowa, and the largest number of samples was collected in California. The most common habitats of weedy species (L. serriola, L. saligna and L. virosa) were along transport corridors, such as roadsides, road ditches, parking sites and petrol stations, grassy slopes and ruderal places. The most frequent species was L. serriola, an Old World introduction, which we observed in all states and provinces visited, except for New York, and in broad range of elevations (up to 2,358 m a.s.l.). Lactuca saligna was recorded only one time in Salinas, California. Lactuca virosa was found repeatedly in Washington State along the road to the Mt. St. Helens and in Redwoods, California. Native North American taxa (L. canadensis, L. floridana, L. ludoviciana) were recorded only in Iowa. Lactuca biennis was found only in Canada in the southern part of Quebec. Records of diseases and pests showed only occasional occurrences of downy mildew (Bremia lactucae) and powdery mildew (Golovinomyces cichoracearum). Most plant-disease findings were made in Canada. Results of these efforts enrich our knowledge of the distribution, ecogeography and ecobiology of Lactuca species occurring spontaneously in North America. Seed collections (accessions) will be conserved in the working collection of the genebank at Palacký University to support future research in ecogeography, ecobiology, resistance and genetic polymorphisms, and to enrich of germplasm diversity available for lettuce breeding.

Keywords

Downy mildew Ecology Geography Habitats Lactuca Morphological variation North America Powdery mildew Wild lettuce 

Notes

Acknowledgments

The authors are very grateful to Dr. Mark Widrlechner (Iowa State University, Plant Introduction Station, Ames, Iowa, USA) and Dr. Jake Alexander (ETH Zurich, Switzerland) for their critical reading of the first draft of this manuscript. The research was supported by projects of Czech Ministry of Education (MSM 153100010 and MSM 6198959215).

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Aleš Lebeda
    • 1
  • Ivana Doležalová
    • 1
    • 2
  • Alžběta Novotná
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Botany, Faculty of SciencePalacký University in OlomoucOlomoucCzech Republic
  2. 2.Centre of Applied Research of Vegetables and Special Crops of the Crop Research InstituteOlomoucCzech Republic

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