Journal of Plant Research

, Volume 129, Issue 5, pp 807–822 | Cite as

Viola woosanensis, a recurrent spontaneous hybrid between V. ulleungdoensis and V. chaerophylloides (Violaceae) endemic to Ulleung Island, Korea

  • Hee-Young Gil
  • Seung-Chul Kim
Regular Paper


Ulleung Island is an oceanic volcanic island in Korea, which has never been connected to the adjacent continent. Previous studies highlighted Ulleung Island as an excellent system to study the pattern and process of early stages of flowering plant evolutions on oceanic island. The predominant mode of speciation in flowering plants on Ulleung Island appears to be anagenesis. However, the potentially important role of hybrid speciation among incompletely reproductively isolated lineages cannot be ruled out. Viola woosanensis (Violaceae) is of purportedly hybrid origin between V. ulleungdoensis (i.e., formerly recognized as V. selkirkii in Ulleung Island) and V. chaerophylloides, based on morphology. To examine the origin of V. woosanensis, we sampled a total of 80 accessions, including V. woosanensis and its putative parental species and sequenced nrDNA ITS, and four highly variable chloroplast noncoding regions (trnL-trnF, rpl16 intron, atpF-atpH, and psbA-trnH). Representative species of Viola from Korea were also included in the phylogenetic analyses (maximum parsimony, maximum likelihood, and Bayesian inference). Additive polymorphic sites in the nrDNA ITS regions were confirmed by cloning amplicons from representative species. The molecular data strongly supported the hybrid origin of V. woosanensis, and the maternal and paternal parent were determined to be V. ulleungdoensis and V. chaerophylloides, respectively. The presence of two parental ribotypes in V. woosanensis (with the exception in one population) was confirmed by cloning, suggesting V. woosanensis is primarily the F1 generation. No trace of backcrossing and introgression with its parents was detected due to low fertility of hybrid species. We found a multiple and unidirectional hybrid origin of V. woosanensis. Additional studies are required to determine which factors contribute to asymmetric gene flow of Viola species in Ulleung Island.


Oceanic island Reticulation Ulleung Island Unidirectional hybridization Viola woosanensiViolaceae 



We thank Seon A Yoon, Joonseon Lee, Petra Junes, and Jong Bin Jung for field assistance on Ulleung Island. This work was supported in part by the Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning (NRF No. 2010-0002611). We dedicate this paper to the first author’s parents for their encouragement and endless support during the course of graduate programs.

Supplementary material

10265_2016_830_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (124 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (PDF 123 kb)


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© The Botanical Society of Japan and Springer Japan 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Biological SciencesSungkyunkwan UniversitySuwonKorea

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