Corolla size and temporal displacement of flowering times among sympatric diploid and tetraploid highbush blueberry (Vaccinium corymbosum)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Polyploidy (whole-genome duplication) is common in vascular plants, but the modes of establishment and persistence, as well as the ecological consequences, of polyploidy remain vague. Highbush blueberry (Vaccinium corymbosum L.) is an ecologically and economically important understory shrub with an unclear species definition, coexisting in sympatric populations of diploid and tetraploid cytotypes. This study analyzes differences in bloom time between sympatric diploid and tetraploid V. corymbosum in natural populations, testing the potential for these cytotypes to interbreed and contributing to the formation and continuity of ploidy-level diversification within this species. Ploidal level was confirmed throughDNAflow cytometry of sympatric plants from two populations in New Jersey, USA. Flower bloom date and corolla size were recorded over a 3-year period. Diploid corollas were 32% smaller than tetraploid corollas, making them easily identifiable in the field. Ploidy accounted for 55%-69% of the variation in bloom date, with diploids flowering about 1 week before tetraploids, and the remaining variation distributed among plants, among branches, and within branches. Notwithstanding these differences, there was modest overlap in flowering time between cytotypes, suggesting that cross-pollination is possible. This contributes evidence to the most current species definition of V. corymbosum as a single (mixed ploidy) species.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)395-404
Number of pages10
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Ecology
  • Plant Science


  • Corolla size
  • Flowering phenology
  • Highbush blueberry
  • New jersey
  • Polyploidy
  • Vaccinium corymbosum


Dive into the research topics of 'Corolla size and temporal displacement of flowering times among sympatric diploid and tetraploid highbush blueberry (Vaccinium corymbosum)'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this