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Allozyme diversity in the apomictic vine Bryonia alba (Cucurbitaceae): potential consequences of multiple introductions

Journal Article

Novak S; Mack R

1995

American Journal of Botany

82

1153-1162

Bryonia alba (Cucurbitaceae) is a Eurasian herbaceous vine that spreads vegetatively through the production of many stems from a large tuberous root. The only known U.S. populations of this aggressive apomict are in Idaho Montana Utah and Washington and likely stem from deliberate (and subsequent accidental) introductions. To assess levels and patterns of genetic diversity of B alba across its introduced range 23 populations were analyzed for allozyme variation using 12 enzyme systems. Onaverage 14.9% of loci are polymorphic per population (1.19 alleles per locus)-low values compared to other vascular plant taxa. Mean percent polymorphic loci differed among regions with the highest values in the Washington and northern Idaho region(20.2%) and Montana (19.0%) and lower values in populations from the Utah and southern Idaho region (7.4%). Observed heterozygosity exceeded that expected at Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium in six of 23 populations and a statistically significant excessof heterozygosity was detected at Pgm-1 in 18 of 23 populations. The level of population differentiation is high (G(ST) = 0.544); however the level of differentiation among populations within regions is much lower. These results are consistent withthe genetic variation and structure expected for an apomict. Based on the level of genetic differentiation among populations the current disjunct distribution of B. alba in its new range results from two and possibly three separate introductionsin the western United States. These introductions may stem in part from the vine\s 19th century use as a medicinal and ornamental plant.

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The Liana Ecology Project is supported by Marquette University and funded in part by the National Science Foundation.