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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: REDUCING THE IMPACT OF INVASIVE WEEDS IN NORTHERN GREAT PLAINS RANGELANDS THROUGH BIOLOGICAL CONTROL AND COMMUNITY RESTORATION

Location: Pest Management Research Unit

Title: Minimal genetic diversity in the facultatively outcrossing perennial pepperweed (Lepidium latifolium) invasion

Authors
item GASKIN, JOHN
item Schwarzlaender, Mark -
item Williams, Livy -
item Gerber, Esther -
item Hinz, Hariet -

Submitted to: Biological Invasions
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: February 7, 2012
Publication Date: February 19, 2012
Repository URL: http://handle.nal.usda.gov/10113/54553
Citation: Gaskin, J.F., Schwarzlaender, M., Williams, L., Gerber, E., Hinz, H. 2012. Minimal genetic diversity in the facultatively outcrossing perennial pepperweed (Lepidium latifolium) invasion. Biological Invasions. 14:1797–1807. Available: DOI.10.1007/s10530-012-0190-4.

Interpretive Summary: Perennial pepperweed (Lepidium latifolium L.) is a Eurasian plant species that is invasive in North America. The invasion forms dense patches that crowd out native and rare species. We investigated the genetic diversity in dense populations in the western USA using DNA markers in an attempt to determine the roles of seedlings and creeping roots in population expansion. Genetic diversity in the USA was unexpectedly low, with only three genotypes in 388 plants,. Up to 97% of the plants from Turkey and Russia transects were unique genotypes, while >96% of USA plants in a transect were identical genotypes This lack of diversity in the USA samples suggests that perennial pepperweed, despite its success as an invader, may be susceptible to biological control, as the invasion contains almost no genetic diversity from which to evolve resistance.

Technical Abstract: Perennial pepperweed (Lepidium latifolium L.) is a Eurasian plant species that is invasive in North America. The invasion often forms large, dense monocultural stands. We investigated the genetic diversity along transects in dense populations in the western USA using Amplified Fragment Length Polymorphisms (AFLPs) in an attempt to determine the roles of seedlings and creeping roots in population expansion. We also analyzed transect collections from the native Eurasian range for comparison. In addition, we conducted crossing studies to determine possible modes of seed production (sexual outcrossing vs. self-fertilization vs. apomixis). In our study of seed production we determined that self-fertilization and outcrossing both produce viable seed in perennial pepperweed. Genetic diversity in the USA was unexpectedly low, with only three genotypes in 388 plants, and those three had genetic similarity of = 98%. Up to 97% of the plants from Turkey and Russia transects were unique genotypes, while >96% of USA plants in a transect were identical genotypes This lack of diversity in the USA samples suggests that perennial pepperweed, despite its success as an invader, is not well-positioned to adapt to new selective pressures, or to recruit pre-adapted genotypes that may vary in resistance or tolerance to disease or herbivory. Because 99% of the USA plants were genetically identical, we were unable to determine if increases in stand size were due to spread by creeping roots or seed derived from outcrossing between genetically identical parents or self-fertilization, as each of these methods produces shoots genetically identical to parental plants.

Last Modified: 9/10/2014
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