Submitted to: International Symposium on Biological Control of Weeds
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/27/2007
Publication Date: 10/1/2008
Citation: Bon, M., Sforza, R., Jones, W.A., Hurard, C., Milbrath, L.R., Darbyshire, S. 2008. Pinpointing the origin of North American invasive Vincetoxicum spp. using phylogeographical markers. In: Julien, M.H., Sforza, R., Bon, M.C., Evans, H.C., Hatcher, P.E., Hinz, H.L., and Rector, B.G., editors. International Symposium on Biological Control of Weeds, April 23-27, 2007, La Grande Motte, France. CAB International Wallingford, UK. p. 448.
Technical Abstract: Three European species of swallow-worts belonging to the Apocynaceae family are established in North America: Vincetoxicum nigrum (L.) Moench (black swallow-wort), Vincetoxicum rossicum (Kleo.) Barb. (pale swallow-wort), both highly invasive in natural areas, abandoned pastures and rural sites, as well as Vincetoxicum hirundinaria Medik. (white swallow-wort) which occurs sparsely in the Northeast as a horticultural escape. As current control measures for the swallow-worts are unable to alleviate their weedy impact, and because of the numerous natural enemies associated with Vincetoxicum sp. in Europe, classical biological control of swallow-worts in North America is being considered. Ascertaining the insect fauna of Vincetoxicum species in eastern Europe and western Russia is confounded by problems in target plant taxonomy at both species and genus levels. Tracing the origins of invasive weeds, and knowing levels of genetic variation relative to the native range seems to be increasingly important for conducting rigorous specificity tests in the time frame of a biological control programme. Until now, nothing has been known about the genetic relationships between native and introduced populations of these targeted weeds. Even more importantly, with the complexity of the genus, the present taxonomic identity of the individuals is questionable. In collaboration with national research agencies, plant material of these species is being collected from populations in native and introduced ranges. Phylogeography is being explored using chloroplast DNA sequences in combination with ploidy determination and initial data are presented in this paper.