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Abstract Detail

Frontiers in fern gametophyte research

Farrar, Donald [1], Stearns, Samantha [2], Popovich, Steve [3], Dauphin, Benjamin [4], Grant, Jason [4].

Outbreeding in Botrychium despite underground bisexual gametophytes.

In genus Botrychium sexual reproduction is via gametophytes that are subterranean and bisexual. Population genetics has shown diploid species universally to exhibit negligible heterozygosity and a level of genetic variability that is exceptionally low. This condition is presumed to result from the consequences of predominant intragametophytic selfing that, in turn, is presumed to be due to the difficulty of sperm movement between gametophytes in the soil habitat. Conversely, genetic differentiation between species and overall genetic variability within the genus as a whole is equivalent to that expected of outcrossing species. The conundrum presented by these contrasting observations has led to prediction of ancestral Botrychium species that were outcrossing and possessed high genetic variability. We report the discovery of such populations in B. lineare and in B. lunaria in high mountain habitats in Colorado and in Switzerland respectively. Gametophytes appear typically bisexual but most zygotes are apparently abortive, possibly due to inbreeding depression. We consider possible ramifications of these discoveries to the process of speciation in Botrychium and other taxa with underground gametophytes.

Broader Impacts:

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1 - Iowa State University, Ecology Evolution and Organismal Biology, Ames, IA, 50011, USA
2 - Iowa State University, Biology, Ames, IA, 50011, USA
3 - US Forest Service, 2150 Centre Ave, Building E, Fort Collins, CO, 80526-8119 , USA
4 - Université de Neuchâtel, Laboratoire de botanique évolutive, Institut de biologie, Rue Émile-Argand 11 , Neuchâtel, CH-2009 , Switzerland

reproductive biology

Presentation Type: Symposium or Colloquium Presentation
Session: C4
Location: Prince of Wales/Riverside Hilton
Date: Tuesday, July 30th, 2013
Time: 10:30 AM
Number: C4008
Abstract ID:166
Candidate for Awards:None

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