Dickenson, R. (2018). Evolution of an invasive species: Solidago Canadensis in Europe and the Americas. A comparison using ribosomal ITS and 5S-NTS sequences. The Young Researcher, 2 (1), 27-37.
The genus Solidago is recognized as an invasive species around the world. This study aims to identify emerging genetic divergence in the species Solidago canadensis, a well-established species in both Europe and North America. Since the introduction of S. canadensis to Europe is far too recent for any changes to be manifested in morphology of the species, ribosomal ITS and 5S-NTS DNA were sequenced from samples collected on both continents and compared to identify genetic variations. Geneious 8.1.8 software was used to align sequences, identify genetic variations, and build phylogenetic trees. Comparison of phylogenetic trees lacked sufficient reliability regarding location of origin and development of populations, therefore no definite conclusions were reached regarding time and manner of introduction or rate of variation. However, an understanding was reached that more research on both ITS and 5S-NTS sequences is necessary before drawing full conclusions regarding origin and development of S. canadensis populations.
Keywords: Solidago canadensis, invasive species, rDNA sequencing, phylogenetic analysis, Internal Transcribed Spacer (ITS), 5S-Non-Transcribed Spacer (NTS)