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Assortative Mating and Natural Selection in an Iris Hybrid Zone

Mitchell B. Cruzan and Michael L. Arnold
Evolution
Vol. 48, No. 6 (Dec., 1994), pp. 1946-1958
DOI: 10.2307/2410519
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2410519
Page Count: 13
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Assortative Mating and Natural Selection in an Iris Hybrid Zone
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Abstract

The phenology of different genotypes and the distribution of genetic variation among flowering plants and their progeny were examined to assess the levels of assortative mating and selection in a hybrid population of Iris. This study and a previous survey of RAPD nuclear markers and chloroplast markers indicate that the population consists of parental genotypes and recombinant hybrid genotypes that are similar to the parental species (I. fulva and I. brevicaulis), although lacking intermediate genotypes. Early in the season only I. fulva genotypes produced flowers, but as flowering in these plants decreased, the hybrid genotypes and I. brevicaulis genotypes began flowering, resulting in a 24-d period of coincidental flowering. The genotypic distribution of seeds produced during the period of flowering overlap contained a high frequency of intermediate genotypes that were not present in the adult generation. The degree of effective assortative mating was examined by comparing the observed progeny genotypic distributions with expected distributions from a mixed-mating model. The model included selfing and random outcrossing to the nearest plants that had pollen-bearing flowers on the day the recipient flower was receptive. The observed genotypic distribution of progeny from plants with I. brevicaulis chloroplast DNA (cpDNA) was not significantly different from the expected distribution. For I. fulva genotypes, however, there were higher than expected frequencies in the extreme genotypic classes, although intermediate genotypes were absent, indicating that these plants were preferentially mating with similar genotypes. Compared with the extreme genotypes, a larger proportion of the intermediate seed progeny produced were aborted, indicating that intermediate genotypes have lower viability. On the basis of the observed progeny genotypes and genetic disequilibria estimates for the adults and the progeny, there appears to be a pattern of effective asymmetrical mating in this population. This asymmetry is most likely due to pollen-style interactions that reduce the fertilization ability of genetically dissimilar pollen, or preferential abortion of genetically intermediate zygotes by I. fulva-like genotypes. The lack of any apparent discrimination by I. brevicaulis-like genotypes creates a directional exchange of nuclear genetic elements that will have implications for introgression and the evolution of hybrid genotypes.

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