INDUCTION OF APOMIXIS BY OUTCROSSING BETWEEN GENETICALLY DIVERGENT ENTITIES OF CALOGLOSSA LEPRIEURII (CERAMIALES, RHODOPHYTA) AND EVIDENCE OF HYBRID APOMICTS IN NATURE

Authors


  • Received 27 April 2010. Accepted 14 January 2011.

Abstract

Our previous study revealed that apomixis, recycling of tetrasporophytes, can be generated through outcrossing between genetically divergent entities of Caloglossa monosticha M. Kamiya, though such apomicts have never been found in nature. In the case of C. leprieurii (Mont.) G. Martens, the most widespread species in this genus, many apomictic strains have been isolated worldwide, but it is unknown whether these apomicts evolved through an outcrossing process similar to that in C. monosticha. In this study, heterogeneity of the apomicts and their sexual relatives as well as their evolutionary relationships was examined using the nuclear-encoded actin gene and plastid-encoded RUBISCO spacer region. Thirteen out of 18 apomictic strains were heterogeneous and contained divergent actin alleles, whereas only two out of 23 sexual strains were heterogeneous. The five homogeneous apomicts were genetically identical, or quite similar, to the sexual strains isolated from adjacent sites. Furthermore, three of the five homogeneous apomicts frequently produced tetraspores that grew into gametophytes, while all the heterogeneous apomicts never generated gametophytes. Apomictic strains from Florida were allotriploid, and each of the three actin sequences was closely related to those of sexual strains from Florida, Peru, and Mexico/Guatemala. In crossing tests, obligate apomixis was generated through the outcrossing between the male from Madagascar and the female from the northwestern Atlantic. These results suggest that outcrossing between genetically divergent sexual entities is one factor that induces apomixis in C. leprieurii.

Ancillary