Plant Systematics and Evolution

, Volume 211, Issue 3–4, pp 239–256 | Cite as

Allozyme variation in the annual weed species complexPolygonum aviculare (Polygonaceae) in relation to ploidy level and colonizing ability

  • P. Meerts
  • T. Baya
  • C. Lefèbvre


Variation at six polymorphic enzymatic loci was studied in 50 populations of the selfing annualPolygonum aviculare from Belgium. The results show that theP. aviculare complex has an allopolyploid origin and comprises two main genetic entities, viz.P. aviculare subsp.depressum (2n = 4x = 40), restricted to urban sites subject to trampling stress, andP. aviculare subsp.aviculare (2n = 4x = 40, 2n = 6x = 60), with a wider ecological amplitude. The latter had a higher genetic diversity and a higher frequency of fixed heterozygosity than the former. WithinP. aviculare subsp.aviculare, genetic diversity and ecological amplitude correlated positively with ploidy level. Additionally, stronger genetic differentiation among and lower variation within populations was found in urban areas than in cultivated fields.

Key words

Polygonaceae Polygonum arenastrum P. aviculare subsp.aviculare P. aviculare subsp.depressum P. heterophyllum Fixed heterozygosity genetic diversity polyploidy selfing annuals urban environment 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • P. Meerts
    • 1
  • T. Baya
    • 1
  • C. Lefèbvre
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratoire de Génétique et Ecologie végétalesUniversité Libre de BruxellesBrusselsBelgium

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