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Data from: Genetic structure and hybridization in the species group of Ficus auriculata: can closely related sympatric Ficus species retain their genetic identity while sharing pollinators?

Citation

Wei, Zuo-Dong et al. (2014), Data from: Genetic structure and hybridization in the species group of Ficus auriculata: can closely related sympatric Ficus species retain their genetic identity while sharing pollinators?, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.v0n20

Abstract

Obligate mutualistic nursery pollination systems between insects and plants have led to substantial co-diversification involving at least some parallel cladogenesis, as documented in Yucca, Ficus and Phyllanthaceae. In such systems pollinators are generally species specific thus limiting hybridization and introgression among interfertile host species. Nevertheless, in the three systems, cases of one insect pollinating several plant species are reported. In most cases host plants sharing pollinators are allopatric. However in the case of the species group of Ficus auriculata, forms may co-occur over large parts of their range. We show here that the species group of F. auriculata is constituted by four well-defined genetic entities that share pollinators. We detected hybrids in nature mainly when both parental forms were growing nearby. Controlled crosses showed that F1 offspring could be successfully backcrossed. Hence, despite sharing pollinators and despite hybrid viability, the different forms have preserved their genetic and morphological identity. We propose that ecological differentiation among forms, coupled with limited overlap of reproductive season has facilitated the maintenance of these inter-fertile forms. As such, establishment of pollinator host specificity may not be a prerequisite for sympatric diversification in Ficus.

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Location

Asia