The Botanical Review

, 70:328 | Cite as

Geographical distribution of wildLactuca species (Asteraceae, Lactuceae)

  • Aleš Lebeda
  • Ivana Dolezalová
  • Viera Feráková
  • Dave Astley


A broad survey of available world literature showed that at least 98 wildLactuca spp. (Asteraceae) have been described taxonomically. The distribution of the genusLactuca worldwide includes 17 species in Europe, 51 in Asia, 43 in Africa, and 12 in the Americas (mostly the North American subcontinent). Species originating in Asia, Africa, and the Americas form ca. 83% of knownLactuca spp. richness; however, they are very poorly documented from the viewpoint of taxonomic relationships, ecogeography, and variability. The phytogeography ofLactuca spp. regarding their distribution on different continents and in relation to the structure of the lettuce gene pool is discussed. A more detailed analysis of geographical distribution and habitats is given for some species (L. serriola, L. saligna, L. virosa, L. perennis, L. quercina, L. tatarica), which represent the primary, secondary, and tertiary gene pools of cultivated lettuce (L. sativa). Original and synanthropic distributions ofLactuca spp. and their occurrence in natural and secondary habitats are discussed, along with the representation of wildLactuca spp. in world gene-bank collections. Global biodiversity ofLactuca spp. and their representation in germplasm collections are poorly documented. Future studies of taxonomy, phytogeography, ecology, phylogenetic relationships, and genetic diversity are needed for a more complete understanding of this genus and taxonomically related genera.


Genetic Resource Botanical Review Slovak Republic Lactuca Species Tertiary Gene Pool 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© The New York Botanical Garden 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Aleš Lebeda
    • 1
  • Ivana Dolezalová
    • 1
  • Viera Feráková
    • 2
  • Dave Astley
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Botany, Faculty of SciencePalacký UniversityOlomouc-HoliceCzech Republic
  2. 2.Department of Botany, Faculty of ScienceKomenský UniversityBratislavaSlovak Republic
  3. 3.Genetic Resources UnitHorticulture Research InternationalWellesbourneUK

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