A new natural hybrid species of China native begonia revealed by
morphological and molecular evidence
Natural hybridization can impact species diversity as an important
evolutionary process and it is very common in Begonia, a mega-diverse
plant genus. Recently, a natural hybrid between Begonia palmata and B.
circumlobata was found in three locations of southeast China. It is very
similar to B. palmata and difficult to identify only based on
morphological characters. According to the maternal uniparental
inheritance of chloroplast genome and biparental inheritance of nuclear
genome in Begonia, nuclear locus (ITS) and chloroplast loci (rpL16)
phylogenetic trees were constructed for the putative hybrid and its
parents. The results indicated that the putative hybrid is an F1
generation with B. palmata mostly as maternal parent and B. circumlobata
as paternal parent. The hybrid is described and illustrated as a new
species (Begonia × yueminensis D.K.Tian et C.Z.Yang), and it is
morphologically compared with its allied species.