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Ecological and Genetic Associations in an Iris Hybrid Zone

Mitchell B. Cruzan and Michael L. Arnold
Evolution
Vol. 47, No. 5 (Oct., 1993), pp. 1432-1445
DOI: 10.2307/2410158
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2410158
Page Count: 14
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Ecological and Genetic Associations in an Iris Hybrid Zone
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Abstract

Chloroplast DNA (cpDNA) markers and 12 nuclear (random amplified polymorphic DNA, or RAPD) markers were used to examine the distribution of genetic variation among individuals and the genetic and ecological associations in a hybrid iris population. Plants in the population occurred at various distances from the edge of a bayou in a relatively undisturbed mixed hardwood forest and in an adjacent pasture dominated by herbaceous perennials with interspersed oak and cypress trees. The majority of plants sampled possessed combinations of markers from the different Iris species. Genetic markers diagnostic for Iris fulva and I. brevicaulis occurred at high frequencies, whereas markers diagnostic for I. hexagona were infrequent. For the majority of the nuclear markers, significant levels of cytonuclear disequilibria existed because of intraspecific associations among the markers in both the pasture and the forest. The distribution of nuclear markers among individuals was bimodal; intermediate genotypes were absent and the majority of RAPD markers were associated with their intraspecific cpDNA haplotypes. Strong intraspecific associations existed among RAPD markers in the forest, but associations tended to be weaker in the pasture area. Ecological correlations were detected for all but one of the I. fulva and I. brevicaulis RAPD markers. The ecological associations of hybrids similar to I. brevicaulis resembled associations of I. brevicaulis parental genotypes, suggesting that these hybrid genotypes may be relatively fit in the same habitats. The hybrids similar to I. fulva, however, were distributed in habitats that were unique relative to the parental species. The patterns of genetic and environmental associations along with other available data suggest that (1) only advanced generation hybrids were present in the population; (2) formation of F1 hybrids among Louisiana irises is rare, leading to sporadic formation of hybrid populations; and (3) selection and assortative mating have contributed to the formation of hybrid genotypes that tend to be similar to parental genotypes. The patterns of ecological and genetic associations detected in this population suggest that assortative mating and environmental and viability selection are important in the structuring and maintenance of this hybrid zone.

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