Conservation Genetics

, Volume 19, Issue 1, pp 181–191 | Cite as

Hybridization rate and genotypic diversity of apomictic hybrids between native (Taraxacum japonicum) and introduced (T. officinale) dandelions in western Japan

  • Shuhei MatsuyamaEmail author
  • Miki Morimoto
  • Tsuyoshi Harata
  • Satoshi Nanami
  • Akira Itoh
Research Article


Hybridization between the introduced and native plants may enhance invasiveness, especially in asexually reproducing species. Hybrid apomictic dandelions between native (Taraxacum platycarpum and T. japonicum) and exotic (T. officinale) species are distributed widely throughout Japan. To estimate the origin(s) and dispersal of the hybrids, we investigated the hybridization rate and genotypic diversity in mixed populations of T. japonicum, T. officinale and their hybrids at two green parks in western Japan. Among the plants identified as exotics from flower morphology, 86–96% were hybrids by genetic analysis. Genetic data with simple sequence repeat markers revealed a high clonal diversity of the hybrid both within and between populations, indicating multiple origins. A hybrid seed was found from among the 1891 seeds collected from T. japonicum in the parks, indicating ongoing hybridization in the field. T. officinale and hybrids were genetically differentiated between the two parks independent of the ploidy level; the allele frequency of T. officinale and tri- and tetraploid hybrids were similar within each park but different between the two parks. This suggests that the origins of hybrids were similar within the park but different between the parks. Overall, our results suggest that hybridization, including backcross, is an ongoing process, and that genetically diverse hybrids with various origins have been spreading in western Japan, probably because hybridization enhanced invasiveness at native habitat.


Backcross hybrid Biological invasion DAPC Flow cytometry Polyploidy SSR 



The present study was conducted with financial support from Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (#18510124, #24510330) of the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) and Nippon Life Insurance Foundation, Japan. We owe special thanks to the Botanical Gardens of Osaka City University and the Oizumi Park, regarding our fieldwork. We also thank the members of the Plant Ecology Laboratory, Osaka City University for field assistance and helpful comments.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shuhei Matsuyama
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Miki Morimoto
    • 1
  • Tsuyoshi Harata
    • 1
  • Satoshi Nanami
    • 1
  • Akira Itoh
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratory of Plant Ecology, Graduate School of ScienceOsaka City UniversityOsakaJapan
  2. 2.College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental ScienceRakuno Gakuen UniversityEbetsuJapan

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