Is South African Pom Pom weed a clone?
Lucy Gintonga-University of Witwaterstrand, Johannesburg
Pom pom weed (Campuloclinium macrophalum) is a highly invasive alien weed in South Africa and is native to Central and Southern America but the exact origin in South African populations is currently unknown.
It is targeted for biological control but the success of the bio-control will depend on host specificity and biotype compatibility to the full genetic diversity of pompom weed in South Africa.
A total of 52 specimens from across South Africa, 14 specimens from Argentina and three from Brazil were sequenced for the nuclear ribosomal ITS regions.
No genetic variation in the ITS regions was found among all the South African specimens sequenced.
In the consensus tree resulting from Maximum Parsimony analysis using the ITS regions, one clade comprised all the South African specimens together with the Argentinean specimens and one specimen from Panara Province in Brazil, while two other Brazilian specimens formed a separate clade.
For more information see the fact sheets below: