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Genetic variation and structure in native and invasive Solidago canadensis populations

Zhao, S Y, Sun, S G, Dai, C, Gituru, R W, Chen, J M, Wang, Q F, Clements, David
Weed research 2015 v.55 no.2 pp. 163-172
Solidago canadensis, amplified fragment length polymorphism, genetic variation, humans, interspecific variation, invasive species, loci, weeds, China, North America
Solidago canadensis is native to North America, but has become a noxious invasive plant in China. We know only a little about its invasion history and the effects of introductions on its genetic composition. Here, we investigated genetic variation and structure between 15 North American and 13 Chinese populations of S. canadensis using AFLP makers. Four AFLP loci suggested relatively high genetic diversity of this weed and similar genetic variation between the invasive range and the native range. Most genetic variation was within populations across two ranges, but the Chinese range had a higher degree of among‐population variation than the North American range. Multiple tests, including Bayesian assignment, UPGMA analysis, PCoA and analysis of ‘isolation by distance’, showed that the Chinese populations originated from at least two distinct native sources and that secondary introduction or dispersal should be common in China. Also, North American populations were possibly a single genetic group. Overall, S. canadensis in China was probably founded from multiple introductions and then spread through long‐distance dispersal associated with human activities. Genetic variability in the species in the invaded range appears to have favoured establishment and spread and may well provide a challenge to successful control.