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A hypothesis on the origin of genetic heterozygosity in diploids and triploids in Japanese Cayratia japonica species complex (Vitaceae)

Tsukaya, Hirokazu, Ishikawa, Naoko, Okada, Hiroshi
Journal of plant research 2012 v.125 no.4 pp. 475-481
Vitaceae, alleles, diploidy, heterozygosity, hybridization, loci, nucleotide sequences, phylogeny, pollen, triploidy, Japan
We previously reported the occurrence of triploid strains in Japanese populations of Cayratia japonica (Thunb.) Gagnep. Interestingly, the triploid and most diploid strains had variably reduced pollen fertility. Two questions emerged from this earlier work: (1) How do triploids arise, and are they allotriploids or autotriploids? and (2) Why is there low pollen fertility in some diploid plants? We used a molecular genetic approach to determine the phylogenetic origins of triploids in C. japonica and the closely related species Cayratia tenuifolia (Wight & Arn.) Gagnep. In our analysis, we compared the sequences of the nuclear single-copy genes LEAFY and ASYMMETRIC LEAVES1. As a result, most triploids and diploids were heterozygous for the loci examined; the triploid genome shared an allele with the diploid genome, but other alleles differed between the ploidies. Therefore, Japanese populations of C. japonica and C. tenuifolia almost certainly arose from repeated hybridization events among genetically differentiated strains. Using our sequence data, we discuss possible scenarios accounting for the occurrence of triploids in the two species of Cayratia.