These authors contributed equally.
ISOLATION BARRIERS BETWEEN PETUNIA AXILLARIS AND PETUNIA INTEGRIFOLIA (SOLANACEAE)
Article first published online: 25 MAR 2011
© 2011 The Author(s). Evolution© 2011 The Society for the Study of Evolution.
Volume 65, Issue 7, pages 1979–1991, July 2011
How to Cite
Dell’Olivo, A., Hoballah, M. E., Gübitz, T. and Kuhlemeier, C. (2011), ISOLATION BARRIERS BETWEEN PETUNIA AXILLARIS AND PETUNIA INTEGRIFOLIA (SOLANACEAE). Evolution, 65: 1979–1991. doi: 10.1111/j.1558-5646.2011.01279.x
- Issue published online: 5 JUL 2011
- Article first published online: 25 MAR 2011
- Accepted manuscript online: 7 MAR 2011 11:24AM EST
- Received December 17, 2010, Accepted February 17, 2011
- postzygotic isolation;
- prezygotic isolation;
- sympatric population
The isolation barriers restricting gene flow between populations or species are of crucial interest for understanding how biological species arise and how they are maintained. Few studies have examined the entire range of possible isolation barriers from geographic isolation to next generation hybrid viability. Here, we present a detailed analysis of isolation barriers between two flowering plant species of the genus Petunia (Solanaceae). Petunia integrifolia and P. axillaris feature divergent pollination syndromes but can produce fertile hybrids when crossed in the laboratory. Both Petunia species are primarily isolated in space but appear not to hybridize in sympatry. Our experiments demonstrate that pollinator isolation is very high but not strong enough to explain the absence of hybrids in nature. However, pollinator isolation in conjunction with male gametic isolation (i.e., pollen–pistil interaction) can explain the lack of natural hybridization, while postzygotic isolation barriers are low or nonexistent. Our study supports the notion that reproductive isolation in flowering plants is mainly caused by pre- rather than postzygotic isolation mechanisms.