Abstract Detail

Hybrids and Hybridization

Brown, Max [1], Hollingsworth, Peter [2], Twyford, Alex [3].

The genetic landscape of hybridisation in the British flora.

Hybridisation is recognised for its profound impact on the evolution of plants, which include the generation of novel phenotypes, introgression of adaptive genes, and the origin of new species. Previous studies have established that natural hybridisation is common and widespread, however estimates for phylogenetic effects are highly variable. Further, the effect of genetic factors such as genetic distance and ploidy level differences between parental species have not been tested across a flora whilst controlling for their associated ecological attributes, for example life history and distribution overlap. Here, we combine the hybrid flora of the British Isles with DNA barcoding data and ecological attributes for over 1,100 species of seed plant into phylogenetic mixed effect models. Our data indicate that genetic factors are important in explaining the probability of whether two parental species will form a hybrid. The phylogenetic signal of hybridisation is high (0.68), indicating intrinsic properties of clades determine hybridisation, and  divergent parental species composed of different ploidy levels are predicted to form hybrids only very rarely. Overall, genetic data is critical in understanding the landscape of hybridisation in the British flora.

1 - University of Edinburgh
2 - Royal Botanical Garden Edinburgh
3 - University Of Edinburgh, Institute Of Evolutionary Biology, Ashworth Laboratories, Charlotte Auerbach Road, Edinburgh, EH9 3FL, United Kingdom

British flora
reproductive isolation
genetic distance
Phylogenetic analysis.

Presentation Type: Oral Paper
Session: HYHY1, Hybrids and Hybridization
Location: Virtual/Virtual
Date: Monday, July 27th, 2020
Time: 1:00 PM
Number: HYHY1003
Abstract ID:558
Candidate for Awards:None

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