Asymmetric introgression in the horticultural living fossil Cycas sect. Asiorientales using a genome-wide scanning approach

Yu Chung Chiang, Bing Hong Huang, Chun Wen Chang, Yu Ting Wan, Shih Jie Lai, Shong Huang, Pei Chun Liao*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


The Asian cycads are mostly allopatric, distributed in small population sizes. Hybridization between allopatric species provides clues in determining the mechanism of species divergence. Horticultural introduction provides the chance of interspecific gene flow between allopatric species. Two allopatrically eastern Asian Cycas sect. Asiorientales species, C. revoluta and C. taitungensis, which are widely distributed in Ryukyus and Fujian Province and endemic to Taiwan, respectively, were planted in eastern Taiwan for horticultural reason. Higher degrees of genetic admixture in cultivated samples than wild populations in both cycad species were detected based on multilocus scans by neutral AFLP markers. Furthermore, bidirectional but asymmetric introgression by horticultural introduction of C. revoluta is evidenced by the reanalyses of species associated loci, which are assumed to be diverged after species divergence. Partial loci introgressed from native cycad to the invaders were also detected at the loci of strong species association. Consistent results tested by all neutral loci, and the species-associated loci, specify the recent introgression from the paradox of sharing of ancestral polymorphisms. Phenomenon of introgression of cultivated cycads implies niche conservation among two geographic-isolated cycads, even though the habitats of the extant wild populations of two species are distinct.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8228-8251
Number of pages24
JournalInternational journal of molecular sciences
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2013 Apr


  • AFLP
  • Cycas revoluta
  • Cycas taitungensis
  • Horticulture
  • Introgression

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Molecular Biology
  • Spectroscopy
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry


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