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Microsatellite development and chromosome evolution in Leontopodium (Asteraceae)

A joint project to explore the chromosome evolution of Edelweiss species

 Leontopodium nivale

Speciation in plants is the result of a complex Leontopodium pusillumnetwork of evolutionary patterns, selection Leontopodium soulieipressure as well as biotic and abiotic procedures acting upon taxa. Currently intensive research focuses on the impact of climate change on earth´s diversity. In particular mountain flora will be affected by a changing environment towards global warming. Model genera of mountain flora might help to predict possible effects. However, for this sound taxa knowledge is necessary to understand the specific speciation processes in the particular group.
In a joint project we aim at exploring the chromosome evolution of Leontopodium, the Edelweiss.
The genus Leontopodium (Pers.) R. Br. (Asteraceae, Compositae) is one of the key genera for the analysis of the impact of climate change on mountain floras. It is economically important for both pharmaceutical and horticultural purposes. This importance is contrasted by a lack of knowledge about species coherence and species delimitations. One of the fundamental data about species is the number of chromosomes and the possible indication of polyploidy.


Sebastian Stille, Volker Wissemann

in collaboration with

  • M. Jaeger, Botanical Garden Giessen, Germany
  • W. B. Dickoré, Botanische Staatssammlung München, Ludwig Maximilian University, Munich, Germany
  • T. F. Stuessy and S. Safer, Department of Systematic and Evolutionary Botany, University of Vienna, Austria
  • H. Stuppner, Institute of Pharmacy/Pharmacognosy, Leopold Franzens University Innsbruck, Austria