Publication Details

Irimia, R., Montesinos, D., Eren, O., Lortie, C. J., French, K., Cavieres, L. A., Sotes, G. J., Hierro, J. L., Jorge, A. & Loureiro, J. (2017). Extensive analysis of native and non-native Centaurea solstitialis L. populations across the world shows no traces of polyploidization. PeerJ, 5 e3531-1-e3531-10.


Centaurea solstitialis L. (yellow starthistle, Asteraceae) is a Eurasian native plant introduced as an exotic into North and South America, and Australia, where it is regarded as a noxious invasive. Changes in ploidy level have been found to be responsible for numerous plant biological invasions, as they are involved in trait shifts critical to invasive success, like increased growth rate and biomass, longer life-span, or polycarpy. C. solstitialis had been reported to be diploid (2n=2x=D16 chromosomes), however, actual data are scarce and sometimes contradictory. We determined for the first time the absolute nuclear DNA content by flow cytometry and estimated ploidy level in 52 natural populations of C. solstitialis across its native and non-native ranges, around the world. All the C. solstitialis populations screened were found to be homogeneously diploid (average 2C value of 1.72 pg, SD= ±0.06 pg), with no significant variation in DNA content between invasive and non-invasive genotypes. We did not find any meaningful difference among the extensive number of native and non-native C. solstitialis populations sampled around the globe, indicating that the species invasive success is not due to changes in genome size or ploidy level.



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