Chromolaena odorata, native to Central and South America, is a perennial invasive weed of the family Asteraceae. It is a worldwide invasive weed and has been listed as one of the world's 100 worst invasive alien species. Invading and spreading rapidly in opening areas, it poses a serious threat to indigenous vegetation and biodiversity conservation. To plan better biological control strategies, a thorough understanding of the genetic structure, gene flow, and invasive history of C. odorata is needed.
Dr. Li Qiaoming of Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden (XTBG) and her students reported the development of 14 microsatellite markers to elucidate the population genetic structure and invasive history of the invasive weed Chromolaena odorata (Asteraceae).
Using the Fast Isolation by AFLP of Sequences Containing repeats (FIASCO) protocol, a total of 14 microsatellite primer pairs were developed. Their polymorphism was assessed in two natural populations of C. odorata from Mexico and Trinidad and Tobago. Eleven loci showed polymorphism and eight of those loci were successfully amplified in Ageratina adenophora, another invasive weed related to C. odorata.
The researchers thus concluded that the 11 polymorphic microsatellite loci presented by them are useful for investigating the population genetic structure of C. odorata and tracing its invasive history to develop suitable strategies for the management of the invasive weed C. odorata.
The research work was financially supported by the State Key Program of the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 30830027).
The study entitled “Isolation and characterization of microsatellite markers for a worldwide invasive weed, Chromolaena odorata (Asteraceae)” has been published online in American Journal of Botany, e259-e261, 2011. doi:10.3732/ajb.1100169