Possible hybrid speciation for two Malagasy species of Piper L. (Piperaceae)


  • Enrico Palchetti Department of Agriculture, Food, Environment and Forestry (DAGRI) University of Florence, Piazzale delle Cascine, 18, 50144 Florence (FI), Italy
  • Massimo Gori Department of Agriculture, Food, Environment and Forestry (DAGRI) University of Florence, Piazzale delle Cascine, 18, 50144 Florence (FI), Italy
  • Stefano Biricolti Department of Agriculture, Food, Environment and Forestry (DAGRI) University of Florence, Piazzale delle Cascine, 18, 50144 Florence (FI), Italy
  • Alberto Masoni Department of Agriculture, Food, Environment and Forestry (DAGRI) University of Florence, Piazzale delle Cascine, 18, 50144 Florence (FI), Italy
  • Lorenzo Bini Interdepartmental Service Centre for Agricultural, Chemical and Industrial Biotechnologies (CIBIACI), University of Florence, Via Romana, 21, 50125 Florence, Italy
  • Corrado Tani Department of Biology, University of Florence, Via Micheli, 3, Firenze, Italy
  • Sara Falsini Department of Biology, University of Florence, Via Micheli, 3, Firenze, Italy
  • Emilio Corti Department of Biology, University of Florence, Via Micheli, 3, Firenze, Italy
  • Alessio Papini Department of Biology, University of Florence, Via Micheli, 3, Firenze, Italy




Piper malgassicum, chromosomes, hybridization, DNA sequences, G3pdh, trnL, ndhF, Malagasy biodiversity, Piper tsarasotrae, Piperaceae


Two new species of genus Piper L. from Madagascar: Piper malgassicum Papini, Palchetti, M. Gori & Rota Nodari and Piper tsarasotrae Papini, Palchetti, M. Gori & Rota Nodari, were analyzed to investigate their phylogenetic position and evolutionary history. Both plastidial and nuclear markers were used for sequencing. The plastidial markers (ndhF and trnL intron) showed a close relationship between the two species with respect to the other species of Piper. Both species appeared phylogenetically related to the African P. guineense and the Malagasyan/Mascarenhas endemic P. borbonense. The nuclear marker (G3pdh) amplification produced two separate sets of sequences: “long” sequences and “short” sequences, characterized by some long deletions. Analyzing together the nuclear sequences, we observed that the “long” sequence of P. tsarasotrae had a stricter relationship to the African accessions of P. guineense, while the accession of P. malgassicum was more strictly related to P. borbonense. On the contrary both “short” sequences of P. malgassicum and P. tsaratsotrae resulted phylogenetically related to Asian accessions and more distantly related to the formerly cited species. This unexpected result was tentatively explained with a more ancient hybridization event between an ancestor of P. malgassicum and P. tsarasotrae (and possibly P. borbonense) and an Asian species of Piper. The Asian contribution would have produced the ancestors carrying the “short” sequences. A more recent hybridization event would have led to the separation of P. malgassicum from P. tsarasotrae with an African pollen-derived genome contribution from P. guineense or, more probably, an ancestor thereof, to an ancestor of P. tsarasotrae. The chromosome numbers of P. tsarasotrae (2n = about 38) and P. malgassicum (2n = about 46), were more similar to the Asian species than to the American species. Unfortunately, no chromosome number of the African species P. guineense is currently available, to compare the chromosomal numbers.


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How to Cite

Palchetti, E. ., Gori, M., Biricolti, S., Masoni, A., Bini, L., Tani, C., Falsini, S., Corti, E., & Papini, A. (2021). Possible hybrid speciation for two Malagasy species of Piper L. (Piperaceae). Caryologia, 73(4), 27–38. https://doi.org/10.13128/caryologia-1133




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