Van Melle (1947) proposed that juniper cultivars of the Pfitzer Group were of hybrid origin and ascribed the name Juniperus ×media Melle. This purported hybrid of J. chinensis L. × J. sabina L. has not been accepted unanimously by the horticultural community. Random amplified polymorphic DNAs (RAPDs) were used to analyze and establish new evidence for the hybrid origin of the Pfitzer Group, using both parents and seven cultivars of the Pfitzer Group. Principal coordinate analysis (PCO) of 122 RAPD bands demonstrated that samples of J. chinensis cluster tightly together, as do the J. sabina samples. Cultivars of the Pfitzer Group lacked affinity with either species, but stood apart as a distinct cluster. The data support Van Melle's conclusion that the Pfitzer Group is separate from J. chinensis and indicate hybrid origin from parents J. chinensis and J. sabina. We recognize Juniperus ×pfitzeriana (Späth) Schmidt [Pfitzer Group] as the correct name for cultivars of Pfitzer junipers. Juniperus ×media, proposed by Van Melle, was rendered illegitimate because of the earlier name J. media V.D. Dmitriev.
Alice Le Duc, Robert P. Adams, and Ming Zhong
Yi-Xuan Kou, Hui-Ying Shang, Kang-Shan Mao, Zhong-Hu Li, Keith Rushforth, and Robert P. Adams
Leyland cypress [×Hesperotropsis leylandii (A.B. Jacks. & Dallim.) Garland & G. Moore, Cupressaceae] is a well-known horticultural evergreen conifer in the United Kingdom, United States, Australia, New Zealand, and other countries. As demonstrated by previous studies, this taxon is a hybrid between alaska (nootka) cypress [Callitropsis nootkatensis (D. Don) Oerst. ex D.P. Little] and monterey cypress [Hesperocyparis macrocarpa (Hartw. ex Gordon) Bartel]. However, the genetic background of leyland cypress cultivars is unclear. Are they F1 or F2 hybrids or backcrosses? In this study, six individuals that represent major leyland cypress cultivars and two individuals each of its two putative parental species were collected, and three nuclear DNA regions (internal transcribed spacer, leafy and needly), three mitochondrial (mt) DNA regions (coxI, atpA, and rps3), and two chloroplast (cp) DNA regions (matK and rbcL) were sequenced and analyzed. Sequencing results of nuclear DNA regions revealed that leyland cypress cultivars consist of putative F1 and F2 hybrids as well as backcrosses. Analysis of the cp and mt DNA from six cultivars of leyland cypress revealed that their cytoplasmic (cp and mt) genomes came from alaska cypress. Our findings will provide important instructions and background knowledge on the management of these major leyland cypress cultivars as well as future studies. Meanwhile, alaska cypress and monterey cypress may have diverged with each other ≈46 million years ago. The fact that they can produce fertile hybrids indicates that hybridization events may have played an important role in the evolutionary history of the cypress family (Cupressaceae).