Inferring the invasion history of coral berry Ardisia crenata from China to the USA using molecular markers

Hong-Yu Niu, Lan Hong, Zheng-Feng Wang, Hao Shen, Wan-Hui Ye, Hong-Ping Mu, Hong-Lin Cao, Zhang-Ming Wang, Corey Bradshaw

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    5 Citations (Scopus)


    Genetic comparisons between native and invasive populations of a species can provide insights into its invasion history information, which is useful for guiding management and control strategies. The coral berry Ardisia crenata was introduced to Florida last century as a cultivated ornament plant, and has since spread widely throughout the southern regions of the USA. Previously, the genetic variation among 20 natural populations of A. crenata across its distribution center in southern China was quantified using seven microsatellite markers. Here we expand on that work by additionally sampling individuals from four other native populations in Taiwan and Japan, and from five invasive populations in the USA. We also examined the results from one chloroplast intergenic spacer region (trnF-trnL) in all 29 populations. Our aim is to identify the invasion source and subsequent history of the species' spread throughout the southern USA. We observed lower genetic diversity in the invasive populations based on both microsatellite and chloroplast markers. Our data show that the invasive populations can be clustered with native populations in southeastern China, inferring this region as the geographic origin of A. crenata cultivars invading the USA. We further classified invasive individuals into invasive I and invasive II clusters. Nantou in Taiwan and Xihu in mainland China are the most closely related populations to those, which identify the former as potential sources for host-specific control agents. Our results, combined with the known introduction records, suggest that A. crenata was first multiply introduced into Florida and then secondarily colonized Louisiana and Texas from Florida.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)809-818
    Number of pages10
    JournalEcological Research
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - Jul 2012


    • Ardisia crenata
    • Chloroplast DNA
    • Introductions
    • Invasive source
    • Microsatellite


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