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The tea-scented China roses largely correspond to the three recognized double-petaled Rosa odorata (Andrews) Sweet (Rosoideae, Rosaceae) varieties, which are the ancestors of modern hybrid tea roses and had a definite and permanent influence on the evolution of modern garden roses. Here the hypothesis of a hybrid origin of the tea-scented China roses between R. odorata var. gigantea and R. chinensis was tested. Two single-copy nuclear genes of the cytosolic glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH) and the chloroplast-expressed glutamine synthetase (ncpGS) together with two plastid loci (trnL-F and psbA-trnH) were sequenced for representative accessions of four R. odorata varieties, R. chinensis, and 28 other Rosa species. Phylogenetic relationships were estimated from two nuclear loci using maximum parsimony and Bayesian analyses, and a haplotype network was constructed on the combined plastid data using NETWORK. For GAPDH and ncpGS loci, the clonal sequences of the three double-petaled varieties were clustered into two clades, one clade with R. odorata var. gigantea, and the other with partial sequences of R. chinensis, which suggested that the tea-scented China roses were hybrids between R. odorata var. gigantea and R. chinensis. Two plastid loci suggested that R. odorata var. gigantea could be the maternal parent and R. chinensis the paternal parent.
Published in "Plant Systematics and Evolution", 01/2011; 297:157-170