Conservation Genetics

, Volume 5, Issue 2, pp 217–230 | Cite as

Genetic analysis of natural hybrids between endemic and alien Rubus (Rosaceae) species in Hawai`i

  • Rebecca A. Randell
  • Dianella G. Howarth
  • Clifford W. Morden


A population of putative hybrids between theendemic Rubus hawaiensis and naturalizedR. rosifolius was discovered inKīpahulu Valley, on the island of Maui inthe Hawaiian archipelago. The goal of thisstudy was to molecularly characterize thisnatural hybridization event, investigate themode of hybridization, and determine the malefertility of the hybrid individuals. Bothmorphological and RAPD marker data indicatethat the putative hybrid individuals are theprogeny of R. rosifolius and R.hawaiensis. All 39 hybrid individuals sampledhad the chloroplast DNA haplotype of R.rosifolius. Thus hybridization appears to beasymmetric, with R. rosifolius acting asthe maternal parent. All hybrid individualsassessed for pollen stainability were sterile,and there was no evidence of backcrossing toeither parent. This result suggests thathybrids are of the first filial generation andthat variation among hybrids reflectsdifferences within the parental populations.Sympatric populations of R. hawaiensisand R. rosifolius occur on four islandsand six additional alien species of Rubusare naturalized and sympatric with R. hawaiensisin Hawai`i. Further investigationis merited to assess whether hybridization maypose a threat to the long term viability ofR. hawaiensis. This study highlights theincreasing frequency and negative consequencesof native-alien hybridization and theimportance of maintaining active alien speciescontrol programs in the Hawaiian Islands.

asymmetric hybridization invasion native-alien hybridization Rubus 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rebecca A. Randell
    • 1
  • Dianella G. Howarth
    • 1
  • Clifford W. Morden
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of BotanyHonoluluUSA
  2. 2.Center for Conservation Research and TrainingUniversity of HawaiiHonoluluUSA

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