Forum geobotanicum (2017)7:27-33
DOI 10.3264/FG.2017.1122

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Detlev Drenckhahn, Werner Baumgartner, Ben Zonneveld

Different genome sizes of Western and Eastern Ficaria verna lineages shed light on steps of Ficaria evolution

Published online: 22 November 2017
© Forum geobotanicum 2017

Abstract The genus Ficaria is now considered to comprize eight Eurasian species. The most widespread European species is the tetraploid F. verna Huds. The present study provides evidence for the existence of two main lineages of F. verna that differ considerably in their genome size by about 3 pg. A Western F. verna lineage west of river Rhine displays a mean genome size (2C-value) of 34.2 pg and is almost precisely codistributed with the diploid F. ambigua Boreau (20 pg) north of the Mediterranean. The remaining part of Europe appears to be occupied by the Eastern F. verna lineage solely (mean genome size of 31.3 pg) which codistributes in South-Eastern Europe with the diploid F. calthifolia Rchb. (15 pg). There is little overlap at the boundary of Western and Eastern F. verna lineages with the occurrence of a separate intermediate group in the Netherlands (mean genome size of 33.2 pg) that appears to result from hybridization of both lineages. On the basis of these observations and further considerations we propose development of F. ambigua and F. calthifolia south of the Alps with subsequent divergence to populate their current Western and Eastern European ranges, respectively. The Western F. verna lineage is proposed to originate from autotetraploidization of F. ambigua (precursor) with moderate genome downsizing and the Eastern F. verna lineage from auto┬Čtetraploidization of F. calthifolia (precursor).

Keywords Ficaria verna, Ficaria calthifolia, Ficaria ambigua, genome size, flow cytometry, evolution

Detlev Drenckhahn
Julius-Maximilian University
Department of Anatomy & Cell Biology
Koellikerstr 6
D 97070 Würzburg
Prof. Dr. Werner Baumgartner
Johannes Kepler University Linz
Institute of Biomedical Mechatronics
Altenbergerstr. 69
4040 Linz
Dr. Ben Zonneveld
Naturalis Biodiversity Centre
Postbus 9517
2300 RA Leiden