Morphological analysis of genetically identified cattails Typha latifolia, Typha angustifolia, and Typha ×glauca Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • Hybridization between the cattail species Typha latifolia L. and Typha angustifolia L. is frequent throughout northeastern and central North America. While studies are required to elucidate the ecological role of interspecific hybrids, morphological intergradation of the hybrids and parental species limits accurate identification. Although species-specific molecular markers have been developed, some researchers do not have the resources necessary for molecular analysis. Consequently, this study used genetically identified specimens of T. latifolia,T. angustifolia, and their hybrid Typha ×glauca Godr. to discriminate sound taxonomic characters for morphological identification. Leaf width, spike gap, spike width, and spike length were measured for 153 specimens of cattails from Massachusetts, Ontario, Quebec, and Manitoba. In addition, stigma width was measured using a compound microscope. Morphological data were used in discriminant analysis; approximately 90% of the classifications derived by discriminant analysis corresponded to the genetic identity. Discriminant analysis using stigma width, spike length, spike interval and leaf width provided accurate identification for 28 of 31 T. angustifolia specimens, 38 of 41 T. ×glauca specimens, and 20 of 25 T. latifolia specimens. Thus, discriminant analysis of morphological characters can be used to distinguish the hybrid cattail from the parental species with reasonable confidence when molecular resources are not available.Key words: Typha, cattails, discriminant analysis, DNA markers.

publication date

  • October 30, 1999