Mameli, Giulia and López-Alvarado, Javier and Farris, Emmanuele and Susanna, Alfonso and Filigheddu, Rossella Speranza and García Jacas, Núria (2014) The Role of parental and hybrid species in multiple introgression events: evidence of homoploid hybrid speciation in Centaurea (Cardueae, Asteraceae). Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society, Vol. 175 (3), p. 453-467. eISSN 1095-8339. Article.
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Molecular approaches have greatly increased the number of confirmed homoploid hybrids, which suggests that the frequency of this phenomenon was underestimated in the past because it was much more difficult to detect than allopolyploidy. Centaurea is a suitable model group for studying homoploid speciation, as hybridization events have been commonly reported for this genus. Based on this, here we study Centaurea × forsythiana, a naturally occurring homoploid hybrid between two Sardinian endemics, C. horrida and C. filiformis, using a molecular approach involving nuclear and plastid markers, to understand the underlying population dynamics between homoploid hybrids and their parents. Our results confirm that C. × forsythiana is a hybrid between the abovementioned species and define the roles of the parents. Plastid markers point towards C. horrida as the maternal progenitor, and nuclear markers reveal that the other parental species, C. filiformis, is itself an old, stabilized homoploid hybrid related to the C. paniculata complex from the Italian mainland. Homoploid hybrid speciation is discussed and C. × forsythiana and C. filiformis are compared with other similar examples. The study confirms the importance of introgression between parental species mediated by hybrids and its potential implications in conservation. Furthermore, it shows how hybridization studies become even more complex when the parents are themselves of probable hybrid origin.
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