Jasieniuk:Notebook/Apomixis in hybrid Rubus
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Hybridization events between native and introduced species can stimulate the evolution of new invasive species. One means by which this can happen is heterosis (AKA hybrid vigor), particularly if the hybrids are capable of reproducing asexually. In plants, apomixis, the asexual production of seed, is one means by which heterosis can be passed on to offspring.
Using microsatellite and chloroplast markers, we have found hybrids between the native, sexual species Rubus ursinus and two exotic, pseudogamous apomictic species, R. armeniacus and R. pensilvanicus. Although these hybrids are not widespread and thus cannot yet be considered invasive, they can be used as a model of the early stages of invasion through hybridization. For this reason, we are interested in whether these hybrids reproduce sexually, apomictically, or a combination of the two. We are extracting DNA from the progeny of these plants (both from seedlings and ungerminated seed), genotyping these progeny with microsatellite markers, and looking at whether alleles appear to be segregating or whether the progeny are genetically identical to the mother plant.