Homoploid hybrid speciation occurs through stabilization of a hybrid segregate (or segregates) isolated by premating and/or postmating barriers from parent taxa. Theory predicts that ecological and spatial isolation are of critical importance during homoploid hybrid speciation, and all confirmed homoploid hybrid species are ecologically isolated from their parents. Until recently, such species have been identified long after they originated, and consequently it has not been possible to determine the relative importance of spatial and ecological isolation during their origin. Here we present evidence for the recent origin (within the past 300 years) of a new homoploid hybrid species, Senecio squalidus (Asteraceae), in the British Isles, following long-distance dispersal of hybrid material from a hybrid zone between S. aethnensis and S. chrysanthemifolius on Mount Etna, Sicily, Italy. Historical records show that such hybrid material from Sicily was introduced to the Oxford Botanic Garden in Britain in the early part of the 18th century and that S. squalidus began to spread from there after approximately 90 years. A survey of randomly amplified polymorphic DNA/intersimple sequence repeats (RAPD/ISSR) marker variation demonstrated that S. squalidus is a diploid hybrid derivative of S. aethnensis and S. chrysanthemifolius that grow at high and low altitudes, respectively, on Mount Etna and that form a hybrid zone at intermediate altitudes. Senecio squalidus contained 11 of 13 RAPD/ISSR markers that were recorded at high frequency in S. chrysanthemifolius but were absent or occurred at low frequency in S. aethnensis, and 10 of 13 markers for which the reverse was true. Bayesian admixture analysis showed that all individuals of S. squalidus surveyed were of mixed ancestry with relatively high mean proportions of ancestry derived from both S. chrysanthemifolius and S. aethnensis (0.644 and 0.356, respectively). We argue that long-distance isolation of hybrid material from its parents on Mount Etna would have helped favor the origin and establishment of S. squalidus in the British Isles, regardless of whether the initial hybrid material introduced to Britain was preadapted to local conditions.
You have requested a machine translation of selected content from our databases. This functionality is provided solely for your convenience and is in no way intended to replace human translation. Neither BioOne nor the owners and publishers of the content make, and they explicitly disclaim, any express or implied representations or warranties of any kind, including, without limitation, representations and warranties as to the functionality of the translation feature or the accuracy or completeness of the translations.
Translations are not retained in our system. Your use of this feature and the translations is subject to all use restrictions contained in the Terms and Conditions of Use of the BioOne website.
Vol. 59 • No. 12