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Genotypic diversity of apomictic microspecies of the Taraxacum scanicum group (Taraxacum sect. Erythrosperma)

Abstract

Populations of polyploid apomictic dandelions consist of a mixture of clonal genotypes that are nearly phenotypically and genetically uniform. Some apomictic taxa are widespread, but many other taxa occur locally or at a single locality. Additionally, certain Central European dandelion populations consist of both diploid sexuals and polyploid apomicts, and the gene flow expected in mixed populations obscures clear genetic and morphological borders among apomictic taxa. In the present study, we investigated genotypic diversity among seven apomictic microspecies coexisting in Central Europe. Using microsatellites, amplified fragment length polymorphism and chloroplast DNA markers, we focused on the clonal structure of apomictic taxa, i.e., whether the studied apomictic taxa are represented by one or a few related genotypes or whether they are represented by many different and unrelated genotypes. The pattern of genotypic diversity within the studied microspecies suggests both intra- and inter-specific genetic diversification. At the intra-specific level, the studied apomictic taxa consist of several related genotypes, and difference among these genotypes is the result of somatic mutations and/or the consequence of repeated origin from different lineages or recent hybridisation. The inter-specific genetic diversity is greater and may reflect a different evolutionary origin of apomictic taxa. Our results show that despite their increased genetic diversity, apomictic dandelions form definable clusters that may be characterised by both molecular markers and morphology.

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Acknowledgments

We thank Petra Macháčková for performing the FCSS analyses. LM thanks Mária Čudejková for patience and support. The research was supported by a grant from the Czech Science Foundation [206/09/P356 to RJV, 206/09/1126 to RJV], Internal Grant Agency of the Palacký University funds [PrF-2013-003, IGA_PrF_2014001, PrF_2015_001], European Social Fund, The Education for Competitiveness Operational Programme [CZ.1.07/2.3.00/30.0004 to LM], and Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports of the Czech Republic [MSM 6198959215 to MK].

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The authors have declared that there is no conflict of interest.

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Correspondence to Ľuboš Majeský.

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Handling editor: Karol Marhold.

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Appendix

Appendix

See Table 4.

Table 4 List of Taraxacum sect. Erythrosperma samples used in the present study with sampling details

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Majeský, Ľ., Vašut, R.J. & Kitner, M. Genotypic diversity of apomictic microspecies of the Taraxacum scanicum group (Taraxacum sect. Erythrosperma). Plant Syst Evol 301, 2105–2124 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00606-015-1218-x

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Keywords

  • AFLP
  • Apomixis
  • Gene flow
  • Genotypic diversity
  • Mutations
  • SSR