Tree Genetics & Genomes

, Volume 6, Issue 1, pp 137–148 | Cite as

Cytogenetic characterization of Hydrangea involucrata Sieb. and H. aspera D. Don complex (Hydrangeaceae): genetic, evolutional, and taxonomic implications

  • Eric Mortreau
  • Sonia Siljak-Yakovlev
  • Malika Cerbah
  • Spencer C. Brown
  • Hélène Bertrand
  • Claudie Lambert
Original Paper


The subsection Asperae of genus Hydrangea L. (Hydrangeaceae) has been investigated for three reasons: several ambiguous classifications concerning Hydrangea aspera have been published, unexpected differences in genome size among seven accessions have been reported Cerbah et al. (Theor Appl Genet 103:45–51, 2001), and two atypical chromosome numbers (2n = 30 for Hydrangea involucrata and 2n = 34 for H. aspera) have been found when all other species of the genus present 2n = 36. Therefore, these two species and four subspecies of Hydrangea in all 29 accessions were analyzed for their genome size, chromosome number, and karyotype features. This investigation includes flow cytometric measurements of nuclear DNA content and bases composition (GC%), fluorochrome banding for detection of GC- and AT-rich DNA regions, and fluorescent in situ hybridisation (FISH) for chromosome mapping of 5 S and 18 S-5.8 S-26 S rDNA genes. In the H. aspera complex, the genome size ranged from 2.98 (subsp. sargentiana) to 4.67 pg/2C (subsp. aspera), an exceptional intraspecific variation of 1.57-fold. The mean base composition was 40.5% GC. Our report establishes the first karyotype for the species H. involucrata, and for the subspecies of H. aspera which indeed present different formulae, offering an element of discrimination. FISH and fluorochrome banding revealed the important differentiation between these two species (H. involucrata and H. aspera) and among four subspecies of the H. aspera complex. Our results are in agreement with the Chinese classification that places the groups Kawakami and Villosa as two different species: Hydrangea villosa Rehder and Hydrangea kawakami Hayata. This knowledge can contribute to effective germplasm management and horticultural use.


Genetic resources Hydrangea DNA content Base composition Karyotype features Fluorochrome banding FISH B chromosomes 



We thank Danièle Daury and Hervé Daniel from Institut National d'Horticulture (Angers) respectively for her technical support in cytogenetic and for his help in statistical analysis, Jean-Marc Bureau from the Institut des Sciences du Végétal (CNRS, Gif-sur-Yvette) and Odile Robin from Laboratoire Ecologie, Systématique et Evolution, UMR CNRS 8079 (Université Paris Sud, Orsay) for their expert assistance in flow cytometry and molecular cytogenetics on the IFR87 platform. This work was supported by the Région des Pays de la Loire.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Eric Mortreau
    • 1
  • Sonia Siljak-Yakovlev
    • 2
  • Malika Cerbah
    • 2
  • Spencer C. Brown
    • 3
  • Hélène Bertrand
    • 1
  • Claudie Lambert
    • 1
  1. 1.Agrocampus Ouest, centre d’Angers-Institut National d’Horticulture et de Paysage, UMR 1259 GenHort, IFR 149 QuasavAngers cedex 01France
  2. 2.CNRS, Univ Paris-Sud, AgroParisTech, UMR 8079, Ecologie, Systématique, Evolution, Université Paris-SudOrsay CedexFrance
  3. 3.Dynamique de la compartimentation cellulaire, Institut des Sciences du Végétal, CNRS UPR 2355 and IFR87Gif-sur-YvetteFrance

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