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Small genome separates native and invasive populations in an ecologically important cosmopolitan grass

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  • Petr Pyšek, Charles University
  • ,
  • Hana Skálová, Institute of Botany, The Czech Academy of Sciences, Zámek 1, CZ-252 43, Průhonice, Czech Republic.
  • ,
  • Jan Čuda, Charles University
  • ,
  • Wen-Yong Guo
  • Jan Suda
  • ,
  • Jan Doležal, Museum and Gallery of the Orlické hory Mts, Jiráskova 2, CZ-516 01, Rychnov nad Kněžnou, Czech Republic.
  • ,
  • Ondřej Kauzál, Charles University
  • ,
  • Carla Lambertini
  • ,
  • Magdalena Lučanová, Charles University
  • ,
  • Terezie Mandáková, Masaryk University
  • ,
  • Lenka Moravcová, Institute of Botany, The Czech Academy of Sciences, Zámek 1, CZ-252 43, Průhonice, Czech Republic.
  • ,
  • Klára Pyšková, Charles University
  • ,
  • Hans Brix
  • Laura A Meyerson, University of Rhode Island

The literature suggests that small genomes promote invasion in plants, but little is known about the interaction of genome size with other traits or about the role of genome size during different phases of the invasion process. By intercontinental comparison of native and invasive populations of the common reed Phragmites australis, we revealed a distinct relationship between genome size and invasiveness at the intraspecific level. Monoploid genome size was the only significant variable that clearly separated the North American native plants from those of European origin. The mean Cx value (the amount of DNA in one chromosome set) for source European native populations was 0.490 ± 0.007 (mean ± SD), for North American invasive 0.506 ± 0.020, and for North American native 0.543 ± 0.021. Relative to native populations, the European populations that successfully invaded North America had a smaller genome that was associated with plant traits favoring invasiveness (long rhizomes, early emerging abundant shoots, resistance to aphid attack, and low C:N ratio). The knowledge that invasive populations within species can be identified based on genome size can be applied to screen potentially invasive populations of Phragmites in other parts of the world where they could grow in mixed stands with native plants, as well as to other plant species with intraspecific variation in invasion potential. Moreover, as small genomes are better equipped to respond to extreme environmental conditions such as drought, the mechanism reported here may represent an emerging driver for future invasions and range expansions.

Sider (fra-til)79-90
Antal sider12
StatusUdgivet - jan. 2018

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