Publication Details

Category Text Publication
Reference Category Journals
DOI 10.1007/s00606-011-0439-x
Document Shareable Link
Title (Primary) Strong genetic differentiation between Gymnadenia conopsea and G. densiflora despite morphological similarity
Author Stark, C.; Michalski, S.G.; Babik, W.; Winterfeld, G.; Durka, W. ORCID logo
Source Titel Plant Systematics and Evolution
Year 2011
Department BZF
Volume 293
Issue 1-4
Page From 213
Page To 226
Language englisch
Keywords Gymnadenia conopsea; Polyploidy; ITS sequences; Microsatellites; Genetic differentiation; Sibling species
Abstract The fragrant orchid Gymnadenia conopsea s.l. is a controversial taxon with two commonly distinguished species, G. conopsea s.str. and G. densiflora. Despite morphological similarity, differentiation between the taxa has been reported for several characters; however, character variation within taxa has obviated a clear consensus. We assessed ITS sequences, microsatellite variation and chromosome numbers on the European scale (1,420 samples) and conducted morphological analyses for 626 samples from Germany. ITS analysis revealed a 2% nucleotide divergence between the taxa, similar to the divergence between other Gymnadenia species. The ITS sequences of G. densiflora form a well-supported monophyletic group sharing a most recent common ancestor with G. nigra and G. austriaca. Thus, G. conopsea and G. densiflora are not sister species, and a species rank is supported for G. densiflora (Wahlenb.) Dietrich and G. conopsea (L.) R.Br. s.str. This was confirmed by the microsatellite analysis, which revealed a strong genetic differentiation between the taxa because of largely non-overlapping sets of alleles. Chromosome numbers showed that G. conopsea was either diploid or tetraploid, whereas G. densiflora was diploid throughout. Morphologically, the taxa differed significantly in the mean value of a number of diagnostic characters. However, a discriminant analysis showed that the morphological variability is substantial, and on the individual level an unequivocal assignment is not possible as 96% of G. conopsea, but only 77% of G. densiflora could be assigned correctly. Further studies are needed on character variation within and among species and ploidy levels to allow for a better identification of the genetically differentiated but morphologically similar taxa.
Persistent UFZ Identifier
Stark, C., Michalski, S.G., Babik, W., Winterfeld, G., Durka, W. (2011):
Strong genetic differentiation between Gymnadenia conopsea and G. densiflora despite morphological similarity
Plant Syst. Evol. 293 (1-4), 213 - 226 10.1007/s00606-011-0439-x