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Abstract Detail

Molecular Ecology and Evolution

Beck, James [1], Alexander, Patrick [2], Allphin, Loreen [3], Rushworth, Catherine [4], Bailey, C. Donovan [5], Windham, Michael [6].

Does hybridization drive the transition to asexuality in diploid Boechera?

Gametophytic apomixis is a common form of asexual reproduction in plants. Virtually all gametophytic apomicts are polyploids, and some view polyploidy as a necessary prerequisite for the transition to apomixis. However, any causal link between apomixis and polyploidy is complicated by the fact that most apomictic polyploids are allopolyploids, leading some to speculate that hybridization, rather than polyploidy, is the primary cause of apomixis. Diploid apomicts present a rare opportunity to isolate the role of hybridization, and a number of these have been documented in the genus Boechera (Brassicaceae). Here we present the results of a microsatellite study of 1400 morphologically and geographically diverse diploid individuals, evaluating the hypothesis that diploid Boechera apomicts are hybrids. With few exceptions, diploid apomicts exhibit extraordinarily high levels of heterozygosity resulting from the combination of disparate genomes. This strongly suggests that the genomic consequences of hybridization allow for the transition to gametophytic apomixis in Boechera.

Broader Impacts:

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1 - University Of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, Lapham Hall S394, P.O. Box 413, Milwaukee, WI, 53201-0413, USA
2 - New Mexico State University, Biology Department, 248 Foster Hall, Las Cruces, NM, 88003, USA
3 - Brigham Young University, DEPT INTEGRATIVE BIOLOGY, 275 WIDB, Provo, UT, 84602, USA
4 - Duke University, PO Box 90338, Durham, NC, 27708, USA
5 - New Mexico State University, Department Of Plant Sciences, P.O. Box 30001 Msc 3AF, Las Cruces, NM, 88003, USA
6 - DUKE UNIVERSITY, Department Of Biology, BOX 90338, DURHAM, NC, 27708, USA


Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for Topics
Session: 17
Location: Westminster Room/Chase Park Plaza
Date: Monday, July 11th, 2011
Time: 2:45 PM
Number: 17006
Abstract ID:161

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