Mechanisms that may lead to high genetic divergence and to the invasive success of tall fleabane (Conyza sumatrensis; Asteraceae).
Tall fleabane [Conyza sumatrensis (Retz.) E. Walker] is commonly invasive in agricultural fields, reducing yield in various infested crops. The current study investigates the genetic diversity within and between a significant number of invasive C. sumatrensis biotypes in soybean fields in southern, southeastern, and midwestern Brazil, using microsatellites as molecular markers. High and low observed and expected heterozygosity estimated in microsatellite loci supported our hypothesis that different levels of genetic diversity may be detected within biotypes from different invaded fields. Analysis of a significant number of biotypes in several fields showed high and low genetic diversity not associated with geographic distribution, bottleneck effect, or susceptibility to glyphosate. A deficit of heterozygous plants, high genetic divergence, and moderate allelic transference were also observed. Allelic fixation was different in the different biotypes. The bottleneck effect was seen in biotypes with reduced genetic diversity and in biotypes with the highest genetic diversity. Data on genetic diversity, bottleneck effect, and glyphosate resistance showed contrasts in biotypes from nearby invaded fields. Our study showed different genetic diversity levels in biotypes from invaded areas under the same climatic conditions.