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Cryptic lineages and potential introgression in a mixed‐ploidyspecies (Phragmites australis) across temperate China

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  • Le-Le Liu, Shandong University, China
  • Mei-Qi Yin, Shandong University, China
  • Xiao Guo, Qingdao Agricultural University, China
  • Jing-Weng Wang, Shandong University, China
  • Yun-Fei Cai, Qilu Normal University, China
  • Cui Wang, Shandong University, China
  • Xiaona Yu, Shandong University, China
  • Ning Du, Shandong University, China
  • Hans Brix
  • Franziska Eller
  • Carla Lambertini, University of Bologna, Italy
  • Weihua Guo, Shandong University, China

Polyploidization and hybridization are very common in natural plant species, and mixed-ploidy species provide a unique opportunity to study the effects of evolutionary history, local abundance, and ploidy level on the direction and extent of introgression between intraspecific lineages. First, we delimited two morphologically cryptic lineages of Phragmites australis Trin. ex Steud. in temperate China using 11 nuclear microsatellites and two chloroplast DNA fragments with 225 samples from China as well as 11 samples from Oceania and Europe. Our evidence supported that haplotype O and haplotype P were two relatively independent lineages with low and high ploidy levels, respectively; haplotype M might be ancient and could have undergone a complex evolutionary history. Then we examined the lineage divergence and compared the introgression patterns between two major lineages along geographical and abundance gradients with a large number of samples (n = 1067) collected from China. The sympatric coexistence of two lineages in north and northeast China implies an ongoing or potential introgression between them. Cline analysis showed that the level of genetic admixture were significantly correlated with longitude rather than latitude. Our results also suggested that ploidy level could deeply influence the introgression asymmetry, and the effect of the current local abundance on introgression might be covered by the past coexistence time driven by phylogeographic history. Our study draws a baseline for future research on the ecological and evolutionary consequences of migration and introgression of Chinese P. australis under global change.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Systematics and Evolution
Pages (from-to)398-410
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2022

    Research areas

  • Phragmites australis, introgression, lineage divergence, ploidy level

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