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Autotetraploids of Vicia cracca show a higher allelic richness in natural populations and a higher seed set after artificial selfing than diploids.
BACKGROUND AND AIMSDespite the great importance of autopolyploidy in the evolution of angiosperms, relatively little attention has been devoted to autopolyploids in natural polyploid systems. Several hypotheses have been proposed to explain why autopolyploids are so common and successful, for example increased genetic diversity and heterozygosity and the transition towards selfing. However, case studies on patterns of genetic diversity and on mating systems in autopolyploids are scarce. In this study allozymes were employed to investigate the origin, population genetic diversity and mating system in the contact zone between diploid and assumed autotetraploid cytotypes of Vicia cracca in Central Europe.
METHODSFour enzyme systems resolved in six putative loci were investigated in ten diploid, ten tetraploid and five mixed-ploidy populations. Genetic diversity and heterozygosity, partitioning of genetic diversity among populations and cytotypes, spatial genetic structure and fixed heterozygosity were analysed. These studies were supplemented by a pollination experiment and meiotic chromosome observation.
KEY RESULTS AND CONCLUSIONSWeak evidence of fixed heterozygosity, a low proportion of unique alleles and genetic variation between cytotypes similar to the variation among populations within cytotypes supported the autopolyploid origin of tetraploids, although no multivalent formation was observed. Tetraploids possessed more alleles than diploids and showed higher observed zygotic heterozygosity than diploids, but the observed gametic heterozygosity was similar to the value observed in diploids and smaller than expected under panmixis. Values of the inbreeding coefficient and differentiation among populations (ρST) suggested that the breeding system in both cytotypes of V. cracca is mixed mating with prevailing outcrossing. The reduction in seed production of tetraploids after selfing was less than that in diploids. An absence of correlation between genetic and geographic distances and high differentiation among neighbouring tetraploid populations supports the secondary contact hypothesis with tetraploids of several independent origins in Central Europe. Nevertheless, the possibility of a recent in situ origin of tetraploids through a triploid bridge in some regions is also discussed.
Department of Botany, Faculty of Science, Charles University in Prague, Benátská 2, CZ-128 01 Prague, Czech Republic., ,
Annals of botany 113:1 2014 Jan pg 159-70
Pub Type(s)Journal Article
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't