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Genetic Load in Osmunda regalis Populations

Edward J. Klekowski, Jr.
American Journal of Botany
Vol. 60, No. 2 (Feb., 1973), pp. 146-154
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2441101
Page Count: 9
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Genetic Load in Osmunda regalis Populations
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Abstract

Osmunda regalis sporophytes form haploid spores which develop into functionally hermaphroditic gametophytes. The self-fertilization of such gametophytes results in zygotes which are completely homozygous. Spore samples collected from sporophytes in natural populations were used to establish gametophyte cultures. The majority of these gametophytes were unable to form viable embryos when only self-fertilization was possible. Controlled selfing and crossing experiments revealed that the inability of these homozygous embryos to develop normally is attributable to the presence of recessive lethals. To account for this genetic load, an hypothesis is proposed integrating the morphology and ecology of the gametophyte generation with the polyploid genetic system of the sporophyte generation.

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