First report of hybridization in the seagrass genus Posidonia (Posidoniaceae)

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Abstract

Hybridization is common among plants and has been crucial in the evolution of many aquatic plant groups. However, hybrid individuals are often difficult to identify, particularly in the marine environment. We aim to confirm a hybrid origin between two seagrass species for a morphologically-intermediate plant observed in shallow subtidal environments near Perth, Western Australia. Both morphological measures and DNA markers demonstrated a clear case for hybridization among two sympatric Posidonia species from different species complexes: Posidonia australis and P. coriacea. All five samples with the intermediate morphology had the same multilocus genotype (MLG), providing evidence that it resulted from a single hybridization event, followed by local clonal (rhizome) expansion. This result highlights weak reproductive barriers within the genus Posidonia, a trait common among other seagrass genera with sympatric ranges, apparently overlapping morphologies and low phylogenetic divergence.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)10-13
Number of pages4
JournalAquatic Botany
Volume156
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2019

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Posidoniaceae
seagrass
hybridization
subtidal environment
rhizome
aquatic plant
aquatic plants
species complex
marine environment
Western Australia
rhizomes
genotype
divergence
phylogenetics
DNA
genetic markers
phylogeny
Posidonia
posidonia
sampling

Cite this

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title = "First report of hybridization in the seagrass genus Posidonia (Posidoniaceae)",
abstract = "Hybridization is common among plants and has been crucial in the evolution of many aquatic plant groups. However, hybrid individuals are often difficult to identify, particularly in the marine environment. We aim to confirm a hybrid origin between two seagrass species for a morphologically-intermediate plant observed in shallow subtidal environments near Perth, Western Australia. Both morphological measures and DNA markers demonstrated a clear case for hybridization among two sympatric Posidonia species from different species complexes: Posidonia australis and P. coriacea. All five samples with the intermediate morphology had the same multilocus genotype (MLG), providing evidence that it resulted from a single hybridization event, followed by local clonal (rhizome) expansion. This result highlights weak reproductive barriers within the genus Posidonia, a trait common among other seagrass genera with sympatric ranges, apparently overlapping morphologies and low phylogenetic divergence.",
keywords = "Australia, Hybrid, Leaf morphology, Microsatellite DNA, Posidonia, Sympatry",
author = "Sinclair, {Elizabeth A.} and Cambridge, {Marion L.} and Kendrick, {Gary A.}",
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AU - Sinclair, Elizabeth A.

AU - Cambridge, Marion L.

AU - Kendrick, Gary A.

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