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Similar patterns of rDNA evolution in synthetic and recently formed natural populations of Tragopogon (Asteraceae) allotetraploids

DOI: 10.1186/1471-2148-10-291

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Using Southern blot hybridization and fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH), we analyzed copy numbers and distribution of these highly reiterated genes in seven lines of synthetic T. mirus (110 individuals) and four lines of synthetic T. miscellus (71 individuals). Variation among diploid parents accounted for most of the observed gene imbalances detected in F1 hybrids but cannot explain frequent deviations from repeat additivity seen in the allotetraploid lines. Polyploid lineages involving the same diploid parents differed in rDNA genotype, indicating that conditions immediately following genome doubling are crucial for rDNA changes. About 19% of the resynthesized allotetraploid individuals had equal rDNA contributions from the diploid parents, 74% were skewed towards either T. porrifolius or T. pratensis-type units, and only 7% had more rDNA copies of T. dubius-origin compared to the other two parents. Similar genotype frequencies were observed among natural populations. Despite directional reduction of units, the additivity of 35S rDNA locus number is maintained in 82% of the synthetic lines and in all natural allotetraploids.Uniparental reductions of homeologous rRNA gene copies occurred in both synthetic and natural populations of Tragopogon allopolyploids. The extent of these rDNA changes was generally higher in natural populations than in the synthetic lines. We hypothesize that locus-specific and chromosomal changes in early generations of allopolyploids may influence patterns of rDNA evolution in later generations.Chromosome counts suggest that between 30 and 100% of angiosperm species are polyploids [1], and Wood et al. [2] propose that 15% of angiosperm speciation events are associated with polyploidy whereas recent genomic studies of selected model and crop species have revealed that all plant genomes sequenced to date have signatures of one or more whole-genome duplications in their evolutionary history [3,4]. The success of newly formed angiosperm


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