Intra-individual polymorphism in diploid and apomictic polyploid hawkweeds (Hieracium, Lactuceae, Asteraceae): disentangling phylogenetic signal, reticulation, and noise.
ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Hieracium s.str. is a complex species-rich group of perennial herbs composed of few sexual diploids and numerous apomictic polyploids. The existence of reticulation and the near-continuity of morphological characters across taxa seriously affect species determination, making Hieracium one of the best examples of a 'botanist's nightmare'. Consequently, its species relationships have not previously been addressed by molecular methods. Concentrating on the supposed major evolutionary units, we used nuclear ribosomal (ETS) and chloroplast (trnT-trnL) sequences in order to disentangle the phylogenetic relationships and to infer the origins of the polyploids. RESULTS: Despite relatively low interspecific variation, the nuclear data revealed the existence of two major groups roughly corresponding to species with a Western or Eastern European origin. Extensive reticulation was mainly inferred from the character additivity of parental ETS variants. Surprisingly, many diploid species were of hybrid origin whilst several polyploid taxa showed no evidence of reticulation. Intra-individual ETS sequence polymorphism generally exceeded interspecific variation and was either independent of, or additional to, additive patterns accounted for by hybrid origin. Several ETS ribotypes occurred in different hybrid taxa, but never as the only variant in any species analyzed. CONCLUSION: The high level of intra-individual ETS polymorphism prevented straightforward phylogenetic analysis. Characterization of this variation as additive, shared informative, homoplasious, or unique made it possible to uncover the phylogenetic signal and to reveal the hybrid origin of 29 out of 60 accessions. Contrary to expectation, diploid sexuals and polyploid apomicts did not differ in their molecular patterns. The basic division of the genus into two major clades had not previously been intimated on morphological grounds. Both major groups are thought to have survived in different glacial refugia and to have hybridized as a result of secondary contact. Several lines of evidence suggest the data is best explained by the presence of an extinct range of variation and a larger diversity of ancestral diploids in former times rather than by unsampled variation. Extinct diversity and extensive reticulation are thought to have largely obscured the species relationships. Our study illustrates how multigene sequences can be used to disentangle the evolutionary history of agamic complexes or similarly difficult datasets.
Project description:BACKGROUND AND AIMS: Hieracium subgenus Hieracium is one of the taxonomically most intricate groups of vascular plants, due to polyploidy and a diversity of breeeding systems (sexuality vs. apomixis). The aim of the present study was to analyse nuclear genome size in a phylogenetic framework and to assess relationships between genome size and ploidy, breeding system and selected ecogeographic features. METHODS: Holoploid and monoploid genome sizes (C- and Cx-values) of 215 cultivated plants from 89 field populations of 42 so-called 'basic' Hieracium species were determined using propidium iodide flow cytometry. Chromosome counts were available for all analysed plants, and all plants were tested experimentally for their mode of reproduction (sexuality vs. apomixis). For constructing molecular phylogenetic trees, the external transcribed spacer region of nuclear ribosomal DNA was used. KEY RESULTS: The mean 2C values differed up to 2.37-fold among different species (from 7.03 pg in diploid to 16.67 in tetraploid accessions). The 1Cx values varied 1.22-fold (between 3.51 and 4.34 pg). Variation in 1Cx values between conspecific (species in a broad sense) accessions ranged from 0.24% to 7.2%. Little variation (not exceeding the approximate measurement inaccurracy threshold of 3.5%) was found in 33 species, whereas variation higher than 3.5% was detected in seven species. Most of the latter may have a polytopic origin. Mean 1Cx values of the three cytotypes (2n, 3n and 4n) differed significantly (average of 3.93 pg in diploids, 3.82 pg in triploids and 3.78 pg in tetraploids) indicating downsizing of genomes in polyploids. The pattern of genome size variation correlated well with two major phylogenetic clades which were composed of species with western or eastern European origin. The monoploid genome size in the 'western' species was significantly lower than in the 'eastern' ones. Correlation of genome size with latitude, altitude and selected ecological characters (light and temperature) was not significant. A longitudinal component was only apparent for the whole data set, but absent within the major lineages. CONCLUSIONS: Phylogeny was the most important factor explaining the pattern of genome size variation in Hieracium sensu stricto, species of western European origin having significantly lower genome size in comparison with those of eastern European origin. Any correlation with ecogeographic variables, including longitude, was outweighed by the divergence of the genus into two major phylogenetic lineages.
Project description:<h4>Background and aims</h4>Apomixis or asexual seed reproduction is a key evolutionary mechanism in certain angiosperms providing them with reproductive assurance and isolation. Nevertheless, the frequency of apomixis is largely unknown, especially in groups with autonomous apomixis such as the diploid-polyploid genus Hieracium.<h4>Methods</h4>Using flow cytometric analyses, we determined the ploidy level and reproductive pathways (sexual vs. apomictic) for 7616 seeds originating from 946 plants belonging to >50 taxa sampled at 130 sites across Europe.<h4>Key results</h4>Diploid seeds produced by diploids were formed exclusively by the sexual pathway after double fertilization of reduced embryo sacs. An absolute majority of tri- and tetraploid seeds (99.6 %) produced by tri- and tetrapolyploid taxa were formed by autonomous apomixis. Only 20 polyploid seeds (0.4 %) were formed sexually. These seeds, which originated on seven polyploid accessions of four taxa, were formed after fertilization of either unreduced embryo sacs through a so-called triploid bridge or reduced embryo sacs, and frequently resulted in progeny with an increased ploidy. In addition, the formation of seedlings with increased ploidy (4x and 6x) was found in two triploid plants. This is the first firm evidence on functional facultative apomixis in polyploid members of Hieracium sensu stricto (s.s.).<h4>Conclusions</h4>The mode of reproduction in Hieracium s.s. is tightly associated with ploidy. While diploids produce seeds exclusively sexually, polyploids produce seeds by obligate or almost obligate apomixis. Strict apomixis can increase the reproductive assurance and this in turn can increase the colonization ability of apomicts. Nevertheless, our data clearly show that certain polyploid plants are still able to reproduce sexually and contribute to the formation of new cytotypes and genotypes. The finding of functional facultative apomicts is essential for future studies focused on evolution, inheritance and ecological significance of apomixis in this genus.
Project description:The evolutionary causes and consequences of allopolyploidization, an exceptional pathway to instant hybrid speciation, are poorly investigated in animals. In particular, when and why hybrid polyploids versus diploids are produced, and constraints on sources of paternal and maternal ancestors, remain underexplored. Using the Palearctic green toad radiation (including bisexually reproducing species of three ploidy levels) as model, we generate a range-wide multi-locus phylogeny of 15 taxa and present four new insights: (i) at least five (up to seven) distinct allotriploid and allotetraploid taxa have evolved in the Pleistocene; (ii) all maternal and paternal ancestors of hybrid polyploids stem from two deeply diverged nuclear clades (6 Mya, 3.1-9.6 Mya), with distinctly greater divergence than the parental species of diploid hybrids found at secondary contact zones; (iii) allotriploid taxa possess two conspecific genomes and a deeply diverged allospecific one, suggesting that genomic imbalance and divergence are causal for their partly clonal reproductive mode; (iv) maternal versus paternal genome contributions exhibit asymmetry, with the maternal nuclear (and mitochondrial) genome of polyploids always coming from the same clade, and the paternal genome from the other. We compare our findings with similar patterns in diploid/polyploid vertebrates, and suggest deep ancestral divergence as a precondition for successful allopolyploidization.
Project description:Phylogeny reconstruction based on multiple unlinked markers is often hampered by incongruent gene trees, especially in closely related species complexes with high degrees of hybridization and polyploidy. To investigate the particular strengths and limitations of chloroplast DNA (cpDNA), low-copy nuclear and multicopy nuclear markers for elucidating the evolutionary history of such groups, we focus on Hieracium s.str., a predominantly apomictic genus combining the above-mentioned features. Sequences of the trnV-ndhC and trnT-trnL intergenic spacers were combined for phylogenetic analyses of cpDNA. Part of the highly variable gene for squalene synthase (sqs) was applied as a low-copy nuclear marker. Both gene trees were compared with previous results based on the multicopy external transcribed spacer (ETS) of the nuclear ribosomal DNA. The power of the different markers to detect hybridization varied, but they largely agreed on particular hybrid and allopolyploid origins. The same crown groups of species were recognizable in each dataset, but basal relationships were strongly incongruent among cpDNA, sqs and ETS trees. The ETS tree was considered as the best approximation of the species tree. Both cpDNA and sqs trees showed basal polytomies as well as merging or splitting of species groups of non-hybrid taxa. These patterns can be best explained by a rapid diversification of the genus with ancestral polymorphism and incomplete lineage sorting. A hypothetical scenario of Hieracium speciation based on all available (including non-molecular) evidence is depicted. Incorporation of seemingly contradictory information helped to better understand species origins and evolutionary patterns in this notoriously difficult agamic complex.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Polyploidy and hybridization are ubiquitous in Rubus L., a large and taxonomically challenging genus. Chinese Rubus are mainly concentrated into two major sections, the diploid Idaeobatus and the polyploid Malachobatus. However, it remains unclear to be auto- or allo- polyploid origin of polyploids in Rubus. We investigated the homoeologs and the structure of the GBSSI-1 (granule-bound starch synthase I) gene in 140 Rubus individuals representing 102 taxa in 17 (out of the total 24) subsections of 7 (total of 12) sections at different ploidy levels.<h4>Results</h4>Based on the gene structure and sequence divergence, we defined three gene variants, GBSSI-1a, GBSSI-1b, and GBSSI-1c. When compared with GBSSI-1a, both GBSSI-1b and GBSSI-1c have a shorter fourth intron, and GBSSI-1c had an additional deletion in the fifth intron. For diploids, either GBSSI-1a or GBSSI-1b was detected in 56 taxa consisting of 82 individuals from sect. Idaeobatus, while both alleles existed in R. pentagonus and R. peltatus. Both homoeologs GBSSI-1a and GBSSI-1b were identified in 39 taxa (48 individuals) of Malachobatus polyploids. They were also observed in two sect. Dalibardastrum taxa, in one sect. Chamaebatus taxon, and in three taxa from sect. Cylactis. Interestingly, all three homoeologs were observed in the three tetraploid taxa. Phylogenetic trees and networks suggested two clades (I and II), corresponding to GBSSI-1a, and GBSSI-1b/1c sequences, respectively. GBSSI-1 homoeologs from the same polyploid individual were resolved in different well-supported clades, and some of these homoelogs were more closely related to homoelogs in other species than they were to each other. This implied that the homoeologs of these polyploids were donated by different ancestral taxa, indicating their allopolyploid origin. Two kinds of diploids hybridized to form most allotetraploid species. The early-divergent diploid species with GBSSI-1a or -1b emerged before polyploid formation in the evolutionary history of Rubus.<h4>Conclusion</h4>This study provided new insights into allopolyploid origin and evolution from diploid to polyploid within the genus Rubus at the molecular phylogenetic level, consistent with the taxonomic treatment by Yü et al. and Lu.
Project description:Molecular evolution of ribosomal DNA can be highly dynamic. Hundreds to thousands of copies in the genome are subject to concerted evolution, which homogenizes sequence variants to different degrees. If well homogenized, sequences are suitable for phylogeny reconstruction; if not, sequence polymorphism has to be handled appropriately. Here we investigate non-coding rDNA sequences (ITS/ETS, 5S-NTS) along with the chromosomal organization of their respective loci (45S and 5S rDNA) in diploids of the Hieraciinae. The subtribe consists of genera <i>Hieracium</i>, <i>Pilosella</i>, <i>Andryala</i>, and <i>Hispidella</i> and has a complex evolutionary history characterized by ancient intergeneric hybridization, allele sharing among species, and incomplete lineage sorting. Direct or cloned Sanger sequences and phased alleles derived from Illumina genome sequencing were subjected to phylogenetic analyses. Patterns of homogenization and tree topologies based on the three regions were compared. In contrast to most other plant groups, 5S-NTS sequences were generally better homogenized than ITS and ETS sequences. A novel case of ancient intergeneric hybridization between <i>Hispidella</i> and <i>Hieracium</i> was inferred, and some further incongruences between the trees were found, suggesting independent evolution of these regions. In some species, homogenization of ITS/ETS and 5S-NTS sequences proceeded in different directions although the 5S rDNA locus always occurred on the same chromosome with one 45S rDNA locus. The ancestral rDNA organization in the Hieraciinae comprised 4 loci of 45S rDNA in terminal positions and 2 loci of 5S rDNA in interstitial positions per diploid genome. In <i>Hieracium</i>, some deviations from this general pattern were found (3, 6, or 7 loci of 45S rDNA; three loci of 5S rDNA). Some of these deviations concerned intraspecific variation, and most of them occurred at the tips of the tree or independently in different lineages. This indicates that the organization of rDNA loci is more dynamic than the evolution of sequences contained in them and that locus number is therefore largely unsuitable to inform about species relationships in <i>Hieracium</i>. No consistent differences in the degree of sequence homogenization and the number of 45S rDNA loci were found, suggesting interlocus concerted evolution.
Project description:<h4>Background and aims</h4>Hypericum perforatum (St. John's wort) is a widespread Eurasian perennial plant species with remarkable variation in its morphology, ploidy and breeding system, which ranges from sex to apomixis. Here, hypotheses on the evolutionary origin of St. John's wort are tested and contrasted with the subsequent history of interspecific gene flow.<h4>Methods</h4>Extensive field collections were analysed for quantitative morphological variation, ploidy, chromosome numbers and genetic diversity using nuclear (amplified fragment length polymorphism) and plastid (trnL-trnF) markers. The mode of reproduction was analysed by FCSS (flow cytometric seed screen).<h4>Key results</h4>It is demonstrated that H. perforatum is not of hybrid origin, and for the first time wild diploid populations are documented. Pseudogamous facultative apomictic reproduction is prevalent in the polyploids, whereas diploids are predominantly sexual, a phenomenon which also characterizes its sister species H. maculatum. Both molecular markers characterize identical major gene pools, distinguishing H. perforatum from H. maculatum and two genetic groups in H. perforatum. All three gene pools are in close geographical contact. Extensive gene flow and hybridization throughout Europe within and between gene pools and species is exemplified by the molecular data and confirmed by morphometric analyses.<h4>Conclusions</h4>Hypericum perforatum is of a single evolutionary origin and later split into two major gene pools. Subsequently, independent and recurrent polyploidization occurred in all lineages and was accompanied by substantial gene flow within and between H. perforatum and H. maculatum. These processes are highly influenced by the reproductive system in both species, with a switch to predominantly apomictic reproduction in polyploids, irrespective of their origin.
Project description:Disentangling phylogenetic relationships proves challenging for groups that have evolved recently, especially if there is ongoing reticulation. Although they are in most cases immediately isolated from diploid relatives, sets of sibling allopolyploids often hybridize with each other, thereby increasing the complexity of an already challenging situation. Dactylorhiza (Orchidaceae: Orchidinae) is a genus much affected by allopolyploid speciation and reticulate phylogenetic relationships. Here, we use genetic variation at tens of thousands of genomic positions to unravel the convoluted evolutionary history of Dactylorhiza. We first investigate circumscription and relationships of diploid species in the genus using coalescent and maximum likelihood methods, and then group 16 allotetraploids by maximum affiliation to their putative parental diploids, implementing a method based on genotype likelihoods. The direction of hybrid crosses is inferred for each allotetraploid using information from maternally inherited plastid RADseq loci. Starting from age estimates of parental taxa, the relative ages of these allotetraploid entities are inferred by quantifying their genetic similarity to the diploids and numbers of private alleles compared with sibling allotetraploids. Whereas northwestern Europe is dominated by young allotetraploids of postglacial origins, comparatively older allotetraploids are distributed further south, where climatic conditions remained relatively stable during the Pleistocene glaciations. Our bioinformatics approach should prove effective for the study of other naturally occurring, nonmodel, polyploid plant complexes.
Project description:Plant genomes demonstrate significant presence/absence variation (PAV) within a species; however, the factors that lead to this variation have not been studied systematically in Brassica across diploids and polyploids. Here, we developed pangenomes of polyploid Brassica napus and its two diploid progenitor genomes B. rapa and B. oleracea to infer how PAV may differ between diploids and polyploids. Modelling of gene loss suggests that loss propensity is primarily associated with transposable elements in the diploids while in B. napus, gene loss propensity is associated with homoeologous recombination. We use these results to gain insights into the different causes of gene loss, both in diploids and following polyploidization, and pave the way for the application of machine learning methods to understanding the underlying biological and physical causes of gene presence/absence.
Project description:UNLABELLED: BACKGROUND:Transposable elements play a major role in genome evolution. Their capacity to move and/or multiply in the genome of their host may have profound impacts on phenotypes, and may have dramatic consequences on genome structure. Hybrid and polyploid clones have arisen multiple times in the Daphnia pulex complex and are thought to reproduce by obligate parthenogenesis. Our study examines the evolution of a DNA transposable element named Pokey in the D. pulex complex. RESULTS:Portions of Pokey elements inserted in the 28S rRNA genes from various Daphnia hybrids (diploids and polyploids) were sequenced and compared to sequences from a previous study to understand the evolutionary history of the elements. Pokey sequences show a complex phylogenetic pattern. We found evidence of recombination events in numerous Pokey alleles from diploid and polyploid hybrids and also from non-hybrid diploids. The recombination rate in Pokey elements is comparable to recombination rates previously estimated for 28S rRNA genes in the congener, Daphnia obtusa. Some recombinant Pokey alleles were encountered in Daphnia isolates from multiple locations and habitats. CONCLUSIONS:Phylogenetic and recombination analyses showed that recombination is a major force that shapes Pokey evolution. Based on Pokey phylogenies, reticulation has played and still plays an important role in shaping the diversity of the D. pulex complex. Horizontal transfer of Pokey seems to be rare and hybrids often possess Pokey elements derived from recombination among alleles encountered in the putative parental species. The insertion of Pokey in hotspots of recombination may have important impacts on the diversity and fitness of this transposable element.