Folia Geobotanica

, Volume 48, Issue 4, pp 537–554 | Cite as

Mating System and Hybridization of the Cyanus triumfetti and C. montanus Groups (Asteraceae)

  • Katarína Olšavská
  • Carsten J. Löser


Mode of reproduction and presence of reproductive barriers were studied in two closely related members of the genus Cyanus: the C. triumfetti (diploid 2n = 22) and C. montanus (tetraploid 2n = 44) groups. Based on results from isolation and emasculation experiments, taxa of these groups can be considered allogamous with a low selfing rate (0.07 %–0.21 % of achenes developed after selfing). Taxa of the C. triumfetti group hybridize easily and produce viable progeny. Differences in the percentage of well-developed achenes per capitulum obtained from interspecific crosses between members of the C. triumfetti group suggested different levels of reproductive isolation. The percentage of well-developed achenes of most homoploid crosses was 3.47 %–8.87 %. Higher percentages of well-developed achenes were obtained from crosses between Eastern Carpathian C. pinnatifidus and Alpine C. triumfetti s. str. (18.36 % ; 26.56 %) and between geographically close taxa in Central Europe (C. dominii, C. strictus and ‘intermediate morphotype’; 12.75 % –17.60 %), which indicate their overall close relatedness. Crossing geographically remote C. strictus and C. triumfetti s. str. yielded no or only few (0.99 %) well-developed achenes, indicating an increased degree of incompatibility in allopatry. The success of heteroploid crosses between plants belonging to different groups was reduced (2.96 %) and suggested reproductive incompatibilities between ploidy levels. The progeny of heteroploid crosses comprised 63 % of triploids of presumable hybrid origin on tetraploid as well as diploid maternal plants. Another 15.22 % of progeny had the maternal cytotype, probably resulting from selfing. Low viability of heteroploid hybrids supports the existence of post-zygotic mechanisms.


Centaurea section Cyanus Compositae Heteroploid hybridization Homoploid hybridization Reproductive barriers Self-incompatibility 



This study was supported by the Grant Agency of the Ministry of Education of the Slovak Republic and the Slovak Academy of Sciences (VEGA 2/0075/11) and Research and Development Support Agency of the Slovak Republic (APVV-0320-10). This study received funds also from the Millennium Seed Bank of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew (United Kingdom). Michaela Horváthová and Lýdia Skokanová are deeply acknowledged for help with cultivating of plants and performing experiments; Marián Perný, Iva Hodálová and Patrik Mráz are thanked for valuable discussions and critical reading of the manuscript.

Supplementary material

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Copyright information

© Institute of Botany, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of BotanySlovak Academy of SciencesBratislavaSlovak Republic
  2. 2.Institute of Systematic BotanyFriedrich Schiller UniversityJenaGermany

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