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Abstract Detail

Molecular Ecology and Evolution

Adhikari, Binaya [1], CARUSO , CHRISTINA MARIE [2], Case , Andrea L.  [3].

Mitochondrial genetic diversity in gynodioecious Lobelia siphilitica.

Examining patterns of mitochondrial genetic diversity provides an excellent opportunity to understand the causes of population sex-ratio variation in gynodioecious plants.  In many gynodioecious species, plant sex is determined by a specific interaction between mitochondrial male-sterility genes (MS) that prevent pollen production, converting some hermaphrodites into females, and nuclear restorer (Rf) genes that counter the MS genes, thus restoring male fertility and hermaphroditism.  Theoretical models of gynodioecy predict that populations containing multiple MS genes should maintain a higher frequency of females. The diversity and distribution of MS genes, and how they affect variation in female frequency, are not known for any wild gynodioecious species. However, processes maintaining multiple MS genes within populations, such as negative frequency-dependent selection, should also maintain mitochondrial haplotype diversity. Here, we explored mtDNA sequence variation among populations of a gynodioecious North American wildflower, Lobelia siphilitica, that vary in female frequency. We predicted that populations with more females would contain a larger number of unique mitochondrial haplotypes. We sequenced three variable mtDNA regions, and found that populations with higher frequencies of females had a larger number of mitotypes, as well as higher haplotype and nucleotide diversities across all three mtDNA regions surveyed. This pattern is consistent with predictions of higher diversity of MS genes in high-female populations. This suggests that frequency-dependent natural selection on mitochondrial MS genes could be maintaining females in these populations.

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1 - Kent State University, Cunningham Hall, Box 5190, Kent, OH, 44242, USA
2 - University Of Guelph, Department Of Integrative Biology, New Science Complex, 50 Stone Road East, GUELPH, ON, N1G 2W1, Canada
3 - Kent State University, Box 5190, 256 Cunningham Hall, Kent, OH, 44242-0001, USA

Lobelia siphilitica
male sterility
natural selection.

Presentation Type: Poster:Posters for Topics
Session: P
Location: Eyrie/Boise Centre
Date: Monday, July 28th, 2014
Time: 5:30 PM
Number: PME011
Abstract ID:720
Candidate for Awards:Genetics Section Poster Award

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