An examination of hybridization between the cattail species Typha latifolia and Typha angustifolia using random amplified polymorphic DNA and chloroplast DNA markers
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Typha glauca represents a significant portion of the biomass of the wetlands surrounding the Great Lakes, USA. It is generally accepted to be a form of hybrid between T. latifolia and T. angustifolia, which itself appears to be an exotic introduction from Europe. Based on morphological and isozyme data, conflicting theories have been proposed for the hybrid nature of T. glauca: it has been described as a hybrid swarm, a distinct hybrid species and an F1 hybrid. Therefore, we developed random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) and chloroplast DNA markers, specific to the parental species, to assess hybrids. Ten RAPD primers gave 17 fragments specific to T. angustifolia and 13 fragments specific to T. latifolia. All of the interspecific hybrids contained each of the species-specific markers, indicating an F1 hybrid status. Furthermore, all hybrids tested contained the T. angustifolia chloroplast haplotype, which is consistent with differential interspecific crossing success found previously. Additional confirmation of an F1 hybrid status was gained by examining seedlings from T. glauca. These progeny were expected to be advanced-generation hybrids, as opposed to the F1 hybrid parent. Analysis of the seedlings revealed segregating marker patterns consistent with patterns observed in experimental advanced-generation hybrids, although these advanced hybrids do not appear to be a significant part of mature stands. Our data do not provide support for extensive gene flow between T. latifolia and T. angustifolia. However, our results suggest that hybridization between the native and introduced Typha species has impacted the native population through the spread of the F1 hybrid, T. glauca.
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