Modern Phytomorphology

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Aconitum in Central Europe: from Linnaean taxonomy to molecular markers

Abstract

Józef Mitka

A role of the Linnaean taxonomy in the arising of historical-biogeographical hypotheses is envisioned. The first example concerns the presumed hybrid origin of an Eastern-Sudetic endemic Aconium plicatum subsp. sudeticum. It was described on the basis of a unique character set including glandular hairiness of the indumentum. A PCR-RAPD+ISSR fingerpriting confirmed the supposition based on the morphological analysis. The second example is dealt with the marginal populations. They are of special interest because of the ecological and population genetic phenomena, including genetic drift and subsequent schizoendemism (endemovicarism), a form of the peripatric speciation. Aconitum bucovinense occurs in two marginal, isolated populations in the Western Bieszczady Mts. (E Carpathians). They form a unique morphotype recognized by a taxonomic revision. A PCR-ISSR protocol was used to check a hypothesis on the genetic distinctness of the small, isolated populations. In the effect the lowering by 13% of genetic diversity in the marginal populations, in comparison to the core population, was noted. However, the genetic depauperation was accompanied by the existence of unique bands leading to the distinct genetic stocks in the marginal populations.

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