Main content area

Homomorphic ZW chromosomes in a wild strawberry show distinctive recombination heterogeneity but a small sex‐determining region

Tennessen, Jacob A., Govindarajulu, Rajanikanth, Liston, Aaron, Ashman, Tia‐Lynn
The new phytologist 2016 v.211 no.4 pp. 1412-1423
Fragaria chiloensis, autosomes, crossing, dioecy, females, linkage disequilibrium, males, mutation, octaploidy, photosynthetically active radiation, sex chromosomes, sex ratio, strawberries
Recombination in ancient, heteromorphic sex chromosomes is typically suppressed at the sex‐determining region (SDR) and proportionally elevated in the pseudoautosomal region (PAR). However, little is known about recombination dynamics of young, homomorphic plant sex chromosomes. We examine male and female function in crosses and unrelated samples of the dioecious octoploid strawberry Fragaria chiloensis in order to map the small and recently evolved SDR controlling both traits and to examine recombination patterns on the incipient ZW chromosome. The SDR of this ZW system is located within a 280 kb window, in which the maternal recombination rate is lower than the paternal one. In contrast to the SDR, the maternal PAR recombination rate is much higher than the rates of the paternal PAR or autosomes, culminating in an elevated chromosome‐wide rate. W‐specific divergence is elevated within the SDR and a single polymorphism is observed in high species‐wide linkage disequilibrium with sex. Selection for recombination suppression within the small SDR may be weak, but fluctuating sex ratios could favor elevated recombination in the PAR to remove deleterious mutations on the W. The recombination dynamics of this nascent sex chromosome with a modestly diverged SDR may be typical of other dioecious plants.