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Insights into the genetic architecture of sexual dimorphism from an interspecific cross between two diverging Silene (Caryophyllaceae) species

Citation

Baena-Diaz, Fernanda; Widmer, Alex; Zemp, Niklaus (2019), Insights into the genetic architecture of sexual dimorphism from an interspecific cross between two diverging Silene (Caryophyllaceae) species, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.2547d7wmd

Abstract

The evolution of sexual dimorphism in species with separate sexes is influenced by the resolution of sexual conflicts creating sex differences through genetic linkage or sex-biased expression. Plants with different degrees of sexual dimorphism are thus ideal to study the genetic basis of sexual dimorphism. In this study we explore the genetic architecture of sexual dimorphism between Silene latifolia and S. dioica. These species have chromosomal sex determination and differ in the extent of sexual dimorphism. To test whether QTL for sexually dimorphic traits have accumulated on the sex chromosomes and to quantify their contribution to species differences, we create a linkage map and performed QTL analysis of life history, flower and vegetative traits using an unidirectional interspecific F2 hybrid cross. We found support for an accumulation of QTL on the sex chromosomes and that sex differences explained a large proportion of the variance between species, suggesting that both natural and sexual selection contributed to species divergence. Sexually dimorphic traits that also differed between species displayed transgressive segregation. We observed a reversal in sexual dimorphism in the F2 population, where males tended to be larger than females, indicating that sexual dimorphism is constrained within populations but not in recombinant hybrids. This study contributes to the understanding of the genetic basis of sexual dimorphism and its evolution in Silene.

Usage Notes

Phenotypic data of F2 Silene individuals