Comparative linkage maps suggest that fission, not polyploidy, underlies near-doubling of chromosome number within monkeyflowers (Mimulus; Phrymaceae).
Changes in chromosome number and structure are important contributors to adaptation, speciation and macroevolution. In flowering plants, polyploidy and subsequent reductions in chromosome number by fusion are major sources of chromosomal evolution, but chromosome number increase by fission has been relatively unexplored. Here, we use comparative linkage mapping with gene-based markers to reconstruct chromosomal synteny within the model flowering plant genus Mimulus (monkeyflowers). Two sections of the genus with haploid numbers ≥ 14 have been inferred to be relatively recent polyploids because they are phylogenetically nested within numerous taxa with low base numbers (n=8-10). We combined multiple data sets to build integrated genetic maps of the M. guttatus species complex (section Simiolus, n=14) and the M. lewisii group (section Erythranthe; n=8), and then aligned the two integrated maps using >100 shared markers. We observed strong segmental synteny between M. lewisii and M. guttatus maps, with essentially 1-to-1 correspondence across each of 16 chromosomal blocks. Assuming that the M. lewisii (and widespread) base number of 8 is ancestral, reconstruction of 14 M. guttatus chromosomes requires at least eight fission events (likely shared by Simiolus and sister section Paradanthus (n=16)), plus two fusion events. This apparent burst of fission in the yellow monkeyflower lineages raises new questions about mechanisms and consequences of chromosomal fission in plants. Our comparative maps also provide insight into the origins of a chromosome exhibiting centromere-associated female meiotic drive and create a framework for transferring M. guttatus genome resources across the entire genus.
Fishman, L; Willis, JH; Wu, CA; Lee, Y-W
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