Hybridity as a main evolutionary force in the genus Gagea Salisb. (Liliaceae)
Plant Biosystems 142(1): 179-184
ISSN/ISBN: 1126-3504 DOI: 10.1080/11263500701873042
The important role of hybridity in the evolution of the genus Gagea is becoming clear, through morphological, karyological and molecular evidences. Several species were recently inferred or hypothesized to be of hybrid origin; especially in sect. Didymobulbos, sect. Fistulosae and sect. Gagea. Representative case studies, such as G. luberonensis J.-M. Tison, G. polidorii J.-M. Tison and G. pomeranica Ruthe, are presented and discussed. Since many Gagea species show very reduced or null sexual reproduction vs. a massive vegetative propagation, there are several problems in distinguishing hybrids from hybridogenous species in this genus. The actual trend is to consider them at specific level because of their ability to stabilize, at least through vegetative propagation by bulblets and/or bulbils.