Spontaneous hybridization of the putative ancestors of the allotetraploid Poa annua


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Spontaneous hybrids between the two diploids Poa infirma Kunth and P. supina Schrader were obtained at the rate of 0.2%. No reciprocal maternal effect was observed. Almost all hybrids survived, grew normally but were sterile. Hybrids were diploid, and resembled in morphology the tetraploid P. annua L. (annual meadow grass). In their isozymes, they showed additivity of the parental patterns, and were very similar to those found in P. annua populations. The ease with which hybrids were obtained and the similarity of their morphological and isozyme pattern to P. annua suggest that the two diploid species are closely related to the allotetraploid species, and are perhaps its parent species.