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Keywords:

  • allozymes;
  • mating system;
  • polyploidy;
  • Tragopogon

Polyploidization has long been recognized as an important force in the diversification of plants. Theoretical models predict that polyploids may be expected to exhibit higher rates of self-fertilization than do closely related diploid species. Wild populations of the neopolyploid Tragopogon mirus (4n) exhibited slightly higher rates of outcrossing than did populations of one of its progenitors, Tdubius (2n). In the current study, outcrossing rates in populations of Tdubius and Tmirus were estimated using artificial arrays constructed to maximize the chances of detecting outcrossing events. The artificial diploid population is more highly outcrossing (t=0.727; family-level estimates range from 0.00 to 1.32) than the tetraploid population (t=0.591; family-level estimates range from 0.00 to 1.14), although the difference between them is not statistically significant. The results of this study, combined with those of the previous work on wild populations, suggest that mating systems in these species vary more among populations than between ploidal levels. This could be because of the relatively recent origins of the tetraploid species; there may have been insufficient time since the formations of the tetraploids for shifts in mating systems to occur.