Biological Invasions

, Volume 16, Issue 11, pp 2351–2366 | Cite as

Invasion genetics of Chromolaena odorata (Asteraceae): extremely low diversity across Asia

  • Xiangqin Yu
  • Tianhua He
  • Jianli Zhao
  • Qiaoming Li
Original Paper


Chromolaena odorata is a native of America while a weed in many parts of tropical and subtropical regions in the world. Research into the invasion mechanisms of C. odorata contributes to a broader understanding of factors that facilitate plant adaptation, and also helps developing effective management strategies. In this study, we used three DNA fragments and six microsatellite loci: (1) to compare genetic diversity of C. odorata in its native and invaded regions; (2) to elucidate the invasive routes and identify possible source locations of C. odorata from America to Asia, with attempt to evaluate the possible mechanisms facilitating the successful invasion of this species. Despite two recorded independent introductions, DNA sequence data revealed only one single haplotype of C. odorata present throughout tropical Asia. All six microsatellite loci consistently exhibited extremely low genetic diversity in Asian populations compared to those from native ranges. Our results implied that there was likely only a single introduction to Asia, and Trinidad, Tobago and adjacent areas in the West Indies were the most likely source location of that introduction. The successful invasion of C. odorata in Asia may have been facilitated by the genotype with strong competitive ability.


Chromolaena odorata Genetic diversity Haplotype network Invasion genetics Phylogeography Source location 



We thank Feng Yulong, Liao Zhiyong, Yang Darong, Ci Xiuqin, Zhong Jinshun and Wu Jiafu for assistance in sample collection, and Gael Jean Campbell-Young and Katherine Downes for English editing of the manuscript. This work was supported by the State Key Program from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 30830027) and the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) 135 program (XTBG-T01). TH was supported by a Curtin Research Fellowship.

Supplementary material

10530_2014_669_MOESM1_ESM.docx (25 kb)
Supplementary material 1 Details of ITS sequences of Chromolaena odorata downloaded from Genebank (DOCX 24 kb)
10530_2014_669_MOESM2_ESM.docx (36 kb)
Supplementary material 2 Genetic diversity estimates of six microsatellite loci for Chromolaena odorata populations (DOCX 35 kb)
10530_2014_669_MOESM3_ESM.pdf (247 kb)
Supplementary material 3 Optimal population clusters (K) estimated from the posterior probability follow the method of △K (Evanno et al., 2005) (PDF 246 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Xiangqin Yu
    • 1
    • 2
  • Tianhua He
    • 3
  • Jianli Zhao
    • 4
  • Qiaoming Li
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratory of Plant Phylogenetics and Conservation, Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical GardenChinese Academy of SciencesKunmingPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Graduate University of Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingPeople’s Republic of China
  3. 3.Department of Environment and AgricultureCurtin UniversityPerthAustralia
  4. 4.The Key Laboratory of Tropical Forest Ecology, Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical GardenChinese Academy of SciencesMenglunPeople’s Republic of China

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