Annals of Botany

Genetic diversity of paper mulberry herbaria samples from the Pacific

For the first time, genetic diversity was detected among paper mulberry accessions from Remote Oceania.

Broussonetia papyrifera, Paper Mulberry

Paper mulberry (Broussonetia papyrifera, Moraceae) is a dioecious species native to continental Southeast Asia and East Asia, including Taiwan, that was introduced by humans across the Pacific islands. Payacan et al. analyse the genetic diversity of herbaria specimens of paper mulberry from the Pacific revealing its dispersal history in Oceania, using molecular markers (microsatellites, chloroplast, ribosomal and sex markers).

Herbaria provide an overview of the historical geographical range of species before later introductions and local extinctions. 15 genotypes were detected in near and remote Oceanian samples, in spite of the vegetative propagation of B. papyrifera in the Pacific. The pattern linking the genotypes within remote Oceania reflects the importance of central Polynesia as a dispersal hub.

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