Luculia Sweet is a small shrubby genus containing three species and is a member of the family Rubiaceae (tribe Cinchoneae). All the species have compact pink or white tubular flowers contained in a tight inflorescence. The flowers are sweetly fragrant. It is widely cultivated in gardens as ornamentals. Luculia pinceana Hook. is widely distributed throughout southwest China, Myanmar, India, and Vietnam (Luo et al., 1999). It occurs on limestone mountains, open slopes, secondary shrubby woodland, and roadsides at an altitude of between 330 m and 1800 m. Our primary study showed that L. pinceana was a typical distylous species with reciprocally placed stigma and anthers in each floral morph. Our field investigation indicated that this species possesses two types of population with a dimorphic population sharing both short-styled (thrum flower) and long-styled (pin flower) individuals and a monomorphic population only with long-styled individuals. Furthermore, dimorphic and monomorphic populations exhibited particular geographic distribution patterns with the former occurring in the east and west zones of the latter. The polymorphism of both the sexual system and the population composition within the species provided an ideal system to study the adaptive function, evolutionary history of distyly, and its relationship with other stylar conditions (especially homostyly) (Barrett and Shore, 2008). Primary morphometric analysis on floral traits suggested that the species might address a transition of mating patterns from disassortative mating to selfing and/or intramorph crossing (W. Zhou, H. Wang and D.Z. Li, unpublished data). To further chase its population genetic structure and the evolutionary podogram of the breeding system, we developed 13 microsatellite markers from L. pinceana and tested their use in another Luculia species, L. yunnanensis Hu, which is also a distylous species.
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Luo, X.R., Gao, W.Z., Chen, W.Q., Xu, X.H. & Wu, H. 1999 Rubiaceae 238 242 Wu Z.Y. & Raven P.H. Flora of China Vol. 71 Science Press Beijing, China, and Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO
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