J Syst Evol ›› 2019, Vol. 57 ›› Issue (5): 451-467.DOI: 10.1111/jse.12471

• Research Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Cytotaxonomy and geographic distribution of cytotypes of species of the South American genus Chrysolaena (Vernonieae, Asteraceae)

Gisela M. Via do Pico1*, Yanina J. Pérez1, María B. Angulo1,2, and Massimiliano Dematteis1,2   

  1. 1Instituto de Botanica del Nordeste (UNNE-CONICET), Sargento Cabral 2131, Casilla de Correo 209, CP 3400 Corrientes, Argentina
    2Facultad de Ciencias Exactas y Naturales y Agrimensura (UNNE), Avenida Libertad 5470, CP 3400, Corrientes, Argentina
  • Received:2018-09-18 Accepted:2018-11-07 Online:2018-11-19 Published:2019-09-01


Understanding speciation and biodiversity patterns in plants requires knowledge of the general role of climate in allowing polyploids to escape competition and persist with their diploid progenitors. This is a particularly interesting issue in widespread species that present multiple ploidy levels and occur across a heterogeneous environment. Chrysolaena (Vernonieae, Asteraceae) is a cytogenetically very diverse genus, with significant interspecific and intraspecific ploidy level variation and with continuous distribution across South America. No previous studies have summarized chromosome count data of Chrysolaena or addressed the cytogeography of the genus. Ploidy level of Chrysolaena species was determined by chromosome counting during mitosis and/or meiosis; the geographic distribution of cytotypes was examined and the correlations between the distribution of particular cytotypes and current ecological conditions were evaluated. A total of 43 new chromosome counts and five ploidy levels (2x, 4x, 6x, 7x, 8x) were reported. The chromosome number of C. cordifolia (2n = 7x = 70) and a new cytotype for C. propinqua var. canescens (2n = 4x = 40) are reported for the first time. Three geographic areas with high diversity of cytotypes and species were detected. The results obtained do not suggest a clear distribution pattern that depends on climatic factors for Chrysolaena populations. However, a geographic pattern was identified in the distribution of ploidy levels, with diploid species presenting a more restricted distribution than polyploid species.

Key words: chromosome numbers, environmental factors, geographic pattern, polyploidy