Data from: Spontaneous hybrids between native and exotic Rubus in the Western United States produce offspring both by apomixis and by sexual recombination
Clark, Lindsay V.; Jasieniuk, Marie (2012), Data from: Spontaneous hybrids between native and exotic Rubus in the Western United States produce offspring both by apomixis and by sexual recombination, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.m466f
Facultative asexual reproduction is a trait commonly found in invasive species. With a combination of sexual and asexual reproductive modes, such species may adapt to new environments via sexual recombination during range expansion, while at the same time having the benefits of asexuality such as the maintenance of fitness effects that depend upon heterozygosity. In the Western United States, native species of Rubus (Rosaceae) reproduce sexually whereas exotic naturalized Rubus species reproduce by pseudogamous apomixis. We hypothesized that new asexual lineages of Rubus could arise from hybridization in this range. To detect hybridization between native and exotic Rubus, we genotyped 579 individuals collected across California, Oregon, and Washington with eight nuclear microsatellites and two chloroplast markers. Principal Coordinate Analysis and Bayesian clustering revealed a limited amount of hybridization of the native R. ursinus with the exotic R. armeniacus and R. pensilvanicus as well as cultivated varieties. Genetic distances between these hybrids and their offspring indicated that both R. ursinus x armeniacus and R. ursinus x pensilvanicus produced a mix of apomictic and sexual seeds, with sexual seeds being more viable. Although neither of these hybrid types is currently considered invasive, they model the early stages of evolution of new invasive lineages, given the potential for fixed heterosis and the generation of novel genotypes. The hybrids also retain the ability to increase their fitness via sexual recombination and natural selection. Mixed reproductive systems such as those described here may be an important step in the evolution of asexual invasive species.