Cytotype variation and allopolyploidy in North American species of the Sphagnum subsecundum complex (Sphagnaceae)

Journal Article

Allopolyploid speciation is likely the predominant mode of sympatric speciation in plants. The Sphagnum subsecundum complex includes six species in North America. Three have haploid gametophytes, and three are thought to have diploid gametophytes. Microsatellite analyses indicated that some plants of S. inundatum and S. lescurii are heterozygous at most loci, but others have only one allele at each locus. Flow cytometry and Feulgen staining showed that heterozygous plants have twice the genome size as plants with one allele per locus; thus, microsatellite patterns can be used to survey the distribution and abundance of haploid and diploid gametophytes. Microsatellite analyses also revealed that S. carolinianum is consistently diploid, but S. lescurii and S. inundatum include both haploid and diploid populations. The frequency of diploid plants in S. lescurii increases with latitude. In an analysis of one population of S. lescurii, both cytotypes co-occurred but were genetically differentiated with no evidence of interbreeding. The degree of genetic differentiation showed that the diploids were not derived from simple genome duplication of the local haploids. Heterozygosity appears to be fixed or nearly so in diploids, strongly suggesting that although morphologically indistinguishable from the haploids, they are derived by allopolyploidy.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Ricca, M; Beecher, FW; Boles, SB; Temsch, E; Greilhuber, J; Karlin, EF; Shaw, AJ

Published Date

  • 2008

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 95 / 12

Start / End Page

  • 1606 - 1620

PubMed ID

  • 21628167

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0002-9122

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.3732/ajb.0800148