Natural hybridization between genera that diverged from each other approximately 60 million years ago.

Journal Article

A fern from the French Pyrenees-×Cystocarpium roskamianum-is a recently formed intergeneric hybrid between parental lineages that diverged from each other approximately 60 million years ago (mya; 95% highest posterior density: 40.2-76.2 mya). This is an extraordinarily deep hybridization event, roughly akin to an elephant hybridizing with a manatee or a human with a lemur. In the context of other reported deep hybrids, this finding suggests that populations of ferns, and other plants with abiotically mediated fertilization, may evolve reproductive incompatibilities more slowly, perhaps because they lack many of the premating isolation mechanisms that characterize most other groups of organisms. This conclusion implies that major features of Earth's biodiversity-such as the relatively small number of species of ferns compared to those of angiosperms-may be, in part, an indirect by-product of this slower "speciation clock" rather than a direct consequence of adaptive innovations by the more diverse lineages.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Rothfels, CJ; Johnson, AK; Hovenkamp, PH; Swofford, DL; Roskam, HC; Fraser-Jenkins, CR; Windham, MD; Pryer, KM

Published Date

  • March 2015

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 185 / 3

Start / End Page

  • 433 - 442

PubMed ID

  • 25674696

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1537-5323

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0003-0147

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1086/679662

Language

  • eng