Senecio Research Network

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The Senecio Research Network

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Background

Ecotypic divergence in Senecio lautus - Field experiment on Stradbroke Island, Queensland, Australia.
Ecotypic divergence in Senecio lautus - Field experiment on Stradbroke Island, Queensland, Australia.
  • The plant genus Senecio comprises approximately 1,000 species and is increasingly used in research on plant adaptation and evolution. The genus includes leaf, stem and tuber succulents, annuals, perennials, aquatics, climbers, shrubs and small trees. Some species produce natural biocides (especially alkaloids) to deter or even kill animals that would eat them, and several species are notable weeds of agriculture and horticulture (e.g. Senecio vulgaris), while others are successful invaders of pastures, wasteground and roadsides (e.g. S. inaequidens, S. madagascariensis and S. squalidus).
  • Some Senecio species are self-compatible, whereas others exhibit strong self-incompatibility. Interspecific hybridization is common and there are notable examples of recent introgression and hybrid speciation in the genus resulting in the origin of new introgressant taxa, and allopolyploid and homoploid hybrid species. Ecotypic divergence is also marked in some species (e.g. S. lautus and S. vulgaris), raising questions on how new species originate via ecological speciation.
  • Because Senecio species are now being used to investigate a wide range of questions in ecology and evolution in different labs around the world, several labs thought it desirable to establish a network to enhance collaborative research and to access and exchange valuable information and resources. This led to the first meeting of the network in August 2010 (Programme & Abstracts) and to the establishment of this website.

People

Flower head variation in Senecio vulgaris. In the first genetic study on Senecio, Trow (1912) showed that presence/absence of ray florets in flower heads of S. vulgaris was controlled by a single genetic locus. Almost a century later, Kim et al. (2008) showed that this locus comprised at least two cycloidea-like, regulatory genes, RAY 1 and RAY2. The radiate morph originated within the last 200 years in Britain after introgression of alleles at the RAY locus from the radiate invasive species, S. squalidus, into the formerly non-radiate S. vulgaris. Presence of ray florets increases pollinator attraction and outcrossing rate in S. vulgaris.
Flower head variation in Senecio vulgaris. In the first genetic study on Senecio, Trow (1912) showed that presence/absence of ray florets in flower heads of S. vulgaris was controlled by a single genetic locus. Almost a century later, Kim et al. (2008) showed that this locus comprised at least two cycloidea-like, regulatory genes, RAY 1 and RAY2. The radiate morph originated within the last 200 years in Britain after introgression of alleles at the RAY locus from the radiate invasive species, S. squalidus, into the formerly non-radiate S. vulgaris. Presence of ray florets increases pollinator attraction and outcrossing rate in S. vulgaris.
Labs Post-Docs







Grad Students





Plant Resources

Senecio eboracensis
Senecio eboracensis
Lendal Bridge site, York, where S. eboracensis once grew
Lendal Bridge site, York, where S. eboracensis once grew
  • Senecio eboracensis a new allotetraploid species discovered in York in 1979 is now extinct in the wild. Seed of this species is stored in Kew's Millenium Seed Bank. Enquiries should be directed to the UK Collections Coordinator, Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, Millenium Seed Bank, Wakehurst Place, Ardingly, West Sussex RH17 6TN.

Genome Resources

  • SenecioDB is an online database curated at the University of Bristol which currently hosts in excess of 11,000 ESTs from floral and leaf tissue of five Senecio taxa.
  • The draft genome sequence of Senecio squalidus is being produced using several different sequencing approaches through a collaboration between the Hiscock (Bristol) and Filatov (Oxford) labs. More details to appear soon.
  • Genetic maps of S. squalidus and its parent species, S. aethnensis and S. chrysanthemifolius, are being produced by Adrian Brennan (Edinburgh) and Richard Abbott (St Andrews) using SSR and AFLP markers. Work to expand and improve these maps is being carried out by Dmitri Filatov (Oxford) and Mark Chapman (Southampton).
  • Genetic maps of Senecio jacobaea and S. aquaticus (now Jacobaea vulgaris and J. aquaticus, respectivey,) are being produced by the Klinkhamer and Vrieling labs (Leiden University) from a cross between these two species.

Network Meetings

The First Senecio Research Network meeting was held at St Andrews University, UK, on 20 August 2010. Programme & Abstracts. You can view pdfs of presentations given by speakers at the meeting by clicking on their names in the following list:


Useful Links





Recent Publications

  • 2016

Alexander-Webber D, Abbott RJ, Chapman MA (2016) Morphological convergence between an allopolyploid and one of its parental species correlates with biased gene expression and DNA loss. Journal of Heredity 107: 445-454.

Brennan AC, Hiscock SJ, Abbott RJ (2016) Genomic architecture of phenotypic divergence between two hybridizing plant species along an elevational gradient. AoB Plants 8: plw022 doi:10.1093/aobpla/plw022.

Chapman MA, Hiscock SJ, Filatov DA (2016) The genomic basis of morphological divergence and reproductive isolation driven by ecological speciation in Senecio (Asteraceae. Journal of Evolutionary Biology 29: 98-113.

Filatov DA, Osborne OG, Papadopoulos AST (2016) Demographic history of speciation in a Senecio altitudinal hybrid zone on Mt. Etna. Molecular Ecology 25: 2467-2481 DOI: 10.1111/mec.13618

Irwin JA, Ashton PA, Bretagnolle F, Abbott RJ (2016) The long and the short of it: long-styled florets are associated with higher outcrossing rate in Senecio vulgaris and result from delayed self-pollen germination. Plant Ecology & Diversity 9: 159-165.

Kandziora M, Kadereit JW, Gehrke B (2016) Frequent colonization and little in situ speciation in Senecio in the tropical alpine-like islands of eastern Africa. American Journal of Botany (Advance access) DOI: 10.3732/ajb.1600210

Kandziora M, Kadereit JW, Gehrke B (2016) Dual colonization of the Palearctic from different regions in the Afrotropics by Senecio. Journal of Biogeography (Early view)

Love J, Graham SW, Irwin JA, Ashton PA, Bretagnolle F, Abbott R (2016) Self-pollination, style length development and seed set in self-compatible Asteraceae: evidence from Senecio vulgaris L. Plant Ecology & Diversity DOI: 10.1080/17550874.2016.1244576 (Latest articles).

Oberprieler C, Bog M, Berchtold B (2016) Herbivory and fitness components in an hybrid swarm of Senecio hercynicus and S. ovatus (Compositae, Senecioneae). Flora 220: 117-124.

Osborne O.G., Chapman M., Nevado B. and Filatov D.A. (2016) Maintenance of species boundaries despite ongoing gene flow in ragworts. Genome Biology & Evolution 8: 1038-1047.

Richards TJ, Ortiz-Barrientos D (2016) Immigrant inviability produces a strong barrier to gene flow between parapatric ecotypes of Senecio lautus. Evolution 70: 1239-1248.

Richards TJ, Walter GM, McGuigan K, Ortiz-Barrientos D (2016) Divergent natural selection drives the evolution of extrinsic post-zygotic isolation in an Australian wildflower. Evolution DOI: 10.1111/evo.12994

Sonnleitner M, Hulber K, Flatscher R, Garcia PE, Winkler M, Suda J, Schoenswetter P, Schneeweiss GM (2016) Ecological differentiation of diploid and polyploid cytotypes of Senecio carniolicus sensu lato (Asteraceae) is stronger in areas of sympatry. Annals of Botany 117: 269-276.

Walter GM, Wilkinson MJ, James ME, Richards TJ, Aguirre JD, Ortiz-Barrientos D (2016) Diversification across a heterogeneous landscape. Evolution doi: 10.1111/evo.13009

  • 2015

Lowe AJ, Abbott RJ (2015) Hybrid swarms: catalysts for multiple evolutionary events in British and Irish Senecio. Plant Ecology & Diversity 8: 449-463.

Oberprieler C, Heine G, Bassler C (2015) Can divergent selection save the rare Senecio hercynicus from genetic swamping by its spreading congener S. ovatus (Compositae, Senecioneae)? Flora 210: 47-59.

Wilcox M (2015) Should Senecio vulgaris ssp. denticulatus be a species? BSBI News (Botanical Society of Britain & Ireland) 128: 27-29.

  • 2014

Brennan AC, Hiscock SJ, Abbott RJ (2014) Interspecific crossing and genetic mapping reveal intrinsic genomic incompatibility between two Senecio species that form a hybrid zone on Mount Etna, Sicily. Heredity 113: 195-204. DOI: 10.1038/hdy.2014.14

Dormontt EE, Gardner MG, Breed MF, Rodger JG, Prentis PP, Lowe AJ (2014) Genetic bottlenecks in time and space: reconstructing invasions from contemporary and historical collections. PLoS One 9(9): e106874. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0106874

Melo MC, Grealy A, Brittain B, Walter GM, Ortiz-Barrientos D (2014) Strong extrinsic reproductive isolation between parapatric populations of an Australian groundsel. New Phytologist 203: 323-334. DOI: 10.1111/nph.12779.

Qian G, Ping JJ, Lu J, Zhang Z, Wang L, Xu Dl (2014) Construction of full-length cDNA library and development of EST-derived simple sequence repeat (EST-SSR) markers in Senecio scandens. Biochemical Genetics 52: 494-508

  • 2013

Brennan AC, Harris SA, Hiscock SJ (2013) The population genetics of sporophytic self-incompatibility in three hybridizing Senecio (Asteraceae) species with contrasting population histories. Evolution 67: 1347-1367.

Calvo J, Álvarez I, Aedo C, Pelser PB. 2013. A phylogenetic analysis and new delimitation of Senecio sect. Crociseris (Compositae: Senecioneae), with evidence of intergeneric hybridization. Taxon 62: 127-140.

Chapman MA, Hiscock SJ, Filatov DA (2013) Genomic divergence during speciation driven by adaptation to altitude. Molecular Biology & Evolution (early view).

Cheng DD, van der Meijden E, Mulder PPJ Vrieling K Klinkhamer, PGL (2013) Pyrrolizidine Alkaloid Composition Influences Cinnabar Moth Oviposition Preferences in Jacobaea Hybrids. Journal of Chemical Ecology 39: 430-437.

Muir G, Osborne OG, Sarasa J, Hiscock SJ, Filatov DA (2013) Recent ecological selection on regulatory divergence is shaping clinal variation in Senecio on Mount Etna. Evolution 67: 3032-3042.

Osborne OG, Batstone TE, Hiscock SJ, Filatov DA (2013) Rapid speciation with gene flow following the formation of Mt. Etna. Genome Biology and Evolution 5: 1704-1715.

Roda F, Ambrose L, Walter GM, Liu H-L, Schaul A, Lowe A, Pelser P, Prentis P, Rieseberg LH, Ortiz-Barrientos D (2013) Genomic evidence for the parallel evolution of coastal forms in the Senecio lautus complex. Molecular Ecology 22: 2941-2952.

Roda F, Liu H-L, Wilkinson MJ, Walter GM, James ME, Bernal DM, Melo MC, Lowe A, Rieseberg LH, Prentis P, Ortiz-Barrientos D (2013) Convergence and divergence during the adaptation to similar environments by an Australian groundsel. Evolution 67: 2515-2529.

  • 2012

Abbott RJ, Rieseberg LH (2012) Hybrid Speciation. Encyclopedia of Life Sciences (eLS) John Wiley Ltd, Chichester.

Brennan AC, Barker D, Hiscock SJ, Abbott RJ (2012) Molecular genetic and quantitative trait divergence associated with recent homoploid hybrid speciation: a study of Senecio squalidus (Asteraceae). Heredity 108: 87-95.

Hegarty MJ, Abbott RJ, Hiscock SJ (2012) Allopolyploid speciation in action: origin and evolution of Senecio cambrensis. In: Soltis PS, Soltis DE (Eds.) Polyploidy and Genome Evolution, pp. 245-270. Springer-Verlag, Berlin Heidelberg.

Kirk H, Vrieling K, Pelser PB, Schaffner U (2012) Can plant resistance to specialist herbivores be explained by plant chemistry or resource use strategy? Oecologia 168: 1043-1055.

Kirk H, Cheng DD, Choi YH, Vrieling K, Klinkhamer P (2012) Transgressive segregation of primary and secondary metabolites in F-2 hybrids between Jacobaea aquatica and J. vulgaris. Metabolomics 8: 211-219.

Pelser PB, Abbott RJ, Comes HP, Milton JJ, Moeller M, Looseley ME, Cron GV, Barcelona JF, Kennedy AH, Watson LE, Barone R, Hernandez F, Kadereit JW (2012) The ghost of an invasion past: colonization and extinction revealed by historical hybridization in Senecio. Molecular Ecology 12: 369-387.

Ross RIC, Agren JA, Pannell JR (2012) Exogenous selection shapes germination behaviour and seedling traits of populations at different altitudes in a Senecio hybrid zone. Annals of Botany 110: 1439-1447.

  • 2011

Allen AM, Thorogood, CJ, Hegarty MJ, Lexer C, Hiscock SJ (2011) Pollen-pistil interactions and self-incompatibility in the Asteraceae: new insights from studies of Senecio squalidus (Oxford ragwort). Annals of Botany 108: 687-698.

Brennan AC, Tabah DA, Harris SA, Hiscock SJ (2011) Sporophytic self-incompatibility in Senecio squalidus (Asteraceae): S allele dominance interactions and modifiers of cross-compatibility and selfing rates. Heredity 106: 113-123.

Cheng DD, Vrieling K, Klinkhamer PGL (2011) The effect of hybridization on secondary metabolites and herbivore resistance: implications for the evolution of chemical diversity in plants. Phytochemistry Reviews 10: 107-117.

Cheng DD, Kirk H, Mulder PPJ, Vrieling K, Klinkhamer PGL (2011) Pyrrolizidine alkaloid variation in shoots and roots of segregating hybrids between Jacobaea vulgaris and Jacobaea aquatica. New Phytologist 192: 1010-1023.

Doorduin L, Gravendeel B, Lammers Y, Ariyurek Y, Chin-A-Woeng T, Vrieling K (2011) The complete chloroplast genome of 17 individuals of pest species Jacobaea vulgaris: SNPs, microsatellites and barcoding markers for population and phylogenetic studies. DNA Research 18: 93-105.

Hegarty MJ, Batstone T, Barker GL, Edwards KJ, Abbott RJ, Hiscock SJ (2011) Nonadditive changes to cytosine methylation as a consequence of hybridization and genome duplication in Senecio (Asteraceae). Molecular Ecology 20: 105-113.

Klinkhamer PGL (2011) Special Issue: Pyrrolizidine alkaloids in Senecio: In honour of the eremitate of Prof. Eddy van der Meijden (Institute of Biology IBL, University of Leiden, the Netherlands) Introduction. Phytochemistry Reviews 10: 1-2.

Langel D, Ober D, Pelser PB (2011) The evolution of pyrrolizidine alkaloid biosynthesis and diversity in the Senecioneae. Phytochemistry Reviews 10: 3-74.

Oberprieler C, Hartl S, Schauer K, Meister J, Heilmann K (2011) Morphological, phytochemical and genetic variation in mixed stands and a hybrid swarm of Senecio germanicus and S. ovatus (Compositae, Senecioneae). Plant Systematics & Evolution 293: 177-191.

  • 2010

Abbott RJ, Hegarty MJ, Hiscock SJ, Brennan AC (2010) Homoploid hybrid speciation in action. Taxon 59: 1375-1386.

Allen AM, Lexer C, Hiscock SJ (2010) Comparative analysis of pistil transcriptomes reveals conserved and novel genes expressed in dry, wet, and semidry stigmas. Plant Physiology 154: 1347-1360.

Allen AM, Lexer C, Hiscock SJ (2010) Characterisation of sunflower-21 (SF21) genes expressed in pollen and pistil of Senecio squalidus (Asteraceae) and their relationship with other members of the SF21 gene family. Sexual Plant Reproduction 23: 173-186.

Brennan AC, Hiscock SJ (2010) Expression and inheritance of sporophytic self-incompatibility in synthetic allohexaploid Senecio cambrensis (Asteraceae). New Phytologist 186: 251-261

Chapman MA, Abbott RJ (2010) Introgression of fitness genes across a ploidy barrier. New Phytologist 186: 63-71.

Kirk H, Vrieling K, Van Der Meijden E, Klinkhamer PGL (2010) Species by environment interactions affect pyrrolizidine alkaloid expression in Senecio jacobaea, Senecio aquaticus, and their hybrids. J. Chemical Ecology 36: 378-387.

Langel D, Ober D, Pelser P (2010) The evolution of pyrrolizidine alkaloid biosynthesis and the diversity in the Senecioneae. Phytochemistry Reviews 10: 3-74

Pelser PB, Tepe EJ, Kennedy AH, Watson LE (2010) The fate of Robinsonia (Asteraceae): sunk in Senecio, but still monophyletic? Phytotaxa 5: 31-46.

Prentis PJ, Woolfit M, Thomas-Hall SR, Ortiz-Barrientos D, Pavasovic A, Lowe AJ, Schenk PM (2010) Massively parallel sequencing and analysis of expressed sequence tags in a successful invasive plant. Annals of Botany 106: 1009-1017.

Oberprieler C, Barth A, Schwarz S, HeilmannJ (2010)Morphological and phytochemical variation, genetic structure and phenology in an introgressive hybrid swarm of Senecio hercynicus and S. ovatus (Compositae, Senecioneae). Plant Systematics & Evolution 286: 153-166.

Rapo C, Muller-Scharer H, Vrieling K, Schaffner U (2010) Is there rapid evolutionary response in introduced populations of tansy ragwort, Jacobaea vulgaris, when exposed to biological control? Evolutionary Ecology 24: 1081-1099

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