Chin J Plant Ecol ›› 2013, Vol. 37 ›› Issue (4): 344-353.DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1258.2013.00034

• Research Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Phenotypic variation in populations of Solanum rostratum in different distribution areas in China

CHEN Tian-Yi, LIU Zeng-Hui, LOU An-Ru*()   

  1. State Key Laboratory of Earth Surface Processes and Resource Ecology, Beijing Normal University, College of Life Sciences of Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China
  • Received:2012-10-18 Accepted:2013-01-25 Online:2013-04-01 Published:2013-04-09
  • Contact: LOU An-Ru


Aims The invasive alien plant Solanum rostratum has different phenotypes in different distribution areas in China. Our objectives were to determine the reason for the phenotype variation and to find typical traits of the phenotype variation.
Methods Seeds of S. rostratum collected from nine areas of distribution in China were sowed in a common garden. We investigated 10 phenotypic traits and used one-way ANOVA, principal component analysis, UPGMA cluster analysis and correlation analysis to analyze results.
Important findings Inter-population variation was significant in all morphological characters (p < 0.01), indicating that the phenotypic variation had a genetic foundation. The coefficient of variation of reproductive organs (CV = 18.2%) was higher than that of vegetative organs (CV = 9%). Analysis of CV and the principal component analysis of phenotypic traits both indicated that the traits of radius, corolla diameter, internode space and plant height were the main factors accounting for the phenotypic variations. According to UPGMA cluster analysis, the nine populations could be divided into three groups. These cluster results were not due to geographic distances. Altitude had greater influence on phenotypic traits than longitude and latitude.

Key words: common garden experiment, invasive alien plant, phenotypic variation, principal component analysis, Solanum rostratum