Pinus densata has been suggested to have originated from hybridization events involving P. tabulaeformis and P. yunnanensis. In this study, allozyme differentiation at 12 loci was studied in 14 populations of P. tabulaeformis, P. densata, and P. yunnanensis from China. The observed genetic composition of P. densata supported the hybrid hypothesis and showed varying degrees of contribution from P. yunnanensis and P. tabulaeformis among its populations. These data, together with previous chloroplast DNA results, indicated different evolutionary histories among P. densata populations. To examine the possibility of ongoing hybridization among the three species, we analyzed patterns of linkage disequilibria between allozyme loci in ovule, pollen, and zygote pools. None of these tests suggested that there is significant ongoing gene exchange, implying that populations of P. densata have a stabilized hybrid nature. The normal fertility and high fecundity of P. densata indicate that this hybrid is maintained through sexual reproduction. P. densata represents an example of diploid hybrid speciation in an extreme ecological habitat that is both spatially and ecologically separated from that of its parents.
|Number of pages||10|
|Publication status||Published - 2001|
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