Data from: Segregation of male sterility alleles across a species boundary
Weller, Stephen G. et al. (2013), Data from: Segregation of male sterility alleles across a species boundary, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.863s0
Hybrid zones may serve as bridges permitting gene flow between species, including alleles influencing the evolution of breeding systems. Using greenhouse crosses, we assessed the likelihood that a hybrid zone could serve as a conduit for transfer of nuclear male-sterility alleles between a gynodioecious species and a hermaphroditic species with very rare females in some populations. Segregation patterns in progeny of crosses between rare females of hermaphroditic Schiedea menziesii and hermaphroditic plants of gynodioecious Schiedea salicaria heterozygous at the male-sterility locus, and between female S. salicaria and hermaphroditic plants from the hybrid zone, were used to determine whether male-sterility was controlled at the same locus in the parental species and the hybrid zone. Segregations of females and hermaphrodites in approximately equal ratios from many of the crosses indicate that the same nuclear male-sterility allele occurs in the parent species and the hybrid zone. These rare male-sterility alleles in S. menziesii may result from gene flow from S. salicaria through the hybrid zone, presumably facilitated by wind pollination in S. salicaria. Alternatively, rare male-sterility alleles might result from a reversal from gynodioecy to hermaphroditism in S. menziesii, or possibly de novo evolution of male sterility. Phylogenetic analysis indicates that some species of Schiedea have probably evolved separate sexes independently, but not in the lineage containing S. salicaria and S. menziesii. High levels of selfing and expression of strong inbreeding depression in S. menziesii, which together should favour females in populations, argue against a reversal from gynodioecy to hermaphroditism in S. menziesii.