Geographically differentiating morphology of genetically similar dogroses: Consequences of canina meiosis

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    Despite their genetic homogeneity, many taxonomic species are described as European dogroses (Rosa L. section Caninae (DC.) Ser.) with consistent morphological variability. Here we report a morphometric study of 27 hip and leaf characters of proximate dogrose populations that include Rosa agrestis, a member of the subsection Rubigineae, in Flanders. In principal components analysis one R. agrestis population in Kanne had intermediate morphology between R. canina and R. corymbifera, on the one hand, and three other R. agrestis populations, on the other, suggesting hybridogenic origin. Half-sib R. agrestis seedlings were grown under controlled conditions and their leaf characters were studied. A tendency toward deviating morphology in seedlings from the Kanne population, analogous to the mother plants in the field, and a correlation for specific leaf characters between mother plants and their corresponding seedlings reinforce a genetic basis for the observed divergence in the Kanne population. The assumed hybridogenic mother plants did not produce fewer seeds per hip than the others of the pure populations. In addition, for all sampled dogroses, which included six species, the diameter of the discus was correlated with the number of seeds per hip, whereas the diameter of the orifice was not correlated with this character. This implies that only the diameter of the orifice and not the diameter of the discus might be decisive for species identification among European dogroses.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalPlant systematics and evolution
    Pages (from-to)1733-1742
    Publication statusPublished - 19-Jul-2012

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