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Cytogenetics of wild species of the Alstroemeriaceae family (Liliales)

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Studies on cytogenetic diversity within the Alstroemeriaceae family along its intercontinental distribution are scarce when comparing species of their four genera. This study aimed at exploring the cytogenetic diversity of the family along their geographical distribution, including species that inhabit Oceania and South America. Using quantitative and qualitative methods, we analysed 50 species of the four genera (24% of the species of the family), comparing cytogenetic characters such as chromosome number, karyotype morphology and asymmetry, location of chromosome satellites, total haploid length, meiotic behaviour, C and FISH banding, and DNA C-values. We concur with other authors in that generic delimitation based on chromosome number is clear among Alstroemeria (2n = 16) and Bomarea (2n = 18), both belonging to Alstroemerioideae. Moreover, these two genera have different chromosome numbers compared to those of Luzuriaga and Drymophila (both 2n = 20) belonging to Luzuriagoideae. The above observations were also supported by the phylogeny reconstructed here. In addition, analyses on karyotype morphology and asymmetry have determined gradual differences in nuclear architecture among genera and species. We concluded that the cytogenetic diversity described within Alstroemeriaceae is concentrated mainly in South America, which is to be expected given the higher species diversity that has been described for that continent. Although the presence of three chromosome numbers within Alstroemeriaceae has no relation with their wide geographical distribution in two continents, an appreciable variation was observed in karyotype morphology and asymmetry, total haploid length and cytomolecular features when the species were compared along their geographical range.

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We would like to express our thanks to Núcleo de Estudios Ambientales (NEA), Dirección General de Investigación of the Universidad Católica de Temuco, and CONICYT PIA APOYO CCTE AFB170008.


Environmental Sciences Nuclei and Research Direction, Catholic University of Temuco, Chile; and CONICYT PIA APOYO CCTE AFB170008.

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Correspondence to Paola Jara-Arancio.

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This research did not involve any testing on humans or animals.

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Handling editor: Martin A. Lysak.

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Online Resource 1. Alignment used to produce phylogeny.

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Jara-Seguel, P., Jara-Arancio, P., Andrade, E. et al. Cytogenetics of wild species of the Alstroemeriaceae family (Liliales). Plant Syst Evol 307, 34 (2021).

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