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Completing the hybridization triangle: the inheritance of genetic incompatibilities during homoploid hybrid speciation in ragworts (Senecio).

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Adrian C. Brennan, Simon J. Hiscock, Richard John Abbott

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A new homoploid hybrid lineage needs to establish a degree of reproductive isolation from its parent species if it is to persist as an independent entity, but the role hybridization plays in this process is known in only a handful of cases. The homoploid hybrid ragwort species, Senecio squalidus (Oxford ragwort), originated following the introduction of hybrid plants to the UK approximately 320 years ago. The source of the hybrid plants was from a naturally occurring hybrid zone between S. aethnensis and S. chrysanthemifolius on Mount Etna, Sicily. Previous studies of the parent species found evidence for multiple incompatibility loci causing transmission ratio distortion of genetic markers in their hybrid progeny. This study closes the hybridization triangle by reporting a genetic mapping analysis of the remaining two paired cross combinations between S. squalidus and its parents. Genetic maps produced from F2 mapping families were generally collinear but with half of the linkage groups showing evidence of genomic reorganization between genetic maps. The new maps produced from crosses between S. squalidus and each parent showed multiple incompatibility loci distributed across the genome, some of which co-locate with previously reported incompatibility loci between the parents. These findings suggest that this young homoploid hybrid species has inherited a unique combination of genomic rearrangements and incompatibilities from its parents that contribute to its reproductive isolation.


Original languageEnglish
Article numberply078
Number of pages15
JournalAoB Plants
Issue number1
Early online date6 Jan 2019
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2019

    Research areas

  • Genetic incompatibility, Genetic mapping, Genomic arrangement, Reproductive isolation, Transmission ration distortion

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