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Nicotiana suaveolens accessions with different ploidy levels exhibit different reproductive isolation mechanisms in interspecific crosses with Nicotiana tabacum

He, Hai, Iizuka, Takahiro, Maekawa, Maho, Sadahisa, Kumi, Morikawa, Toshinobu, Yanase, Masanori, Yokoi, Shuji, Oda, Masayuki, Tezuka, Takahiro
Journal of plant research 2019 v.132 no.4 pp. 461-471
Nicotiana suaveolens, Nicotiana tabacum, abscission, chromosome number, chromosomes, crossing, death, flow cytometry, germination, hybrids, internal transcribed spacers, phylogeny, plant ovary, ploidy, pollination, reproductive isolation, seeds
Reproductive isolation, including prezygotic and postzygotic barriers, is a mechanism that separates species. Many species in the Nicotiana section Suaveolentes exhibit reproductive isolation in crosses with Nicotiana tabacum. In this study, we investigated whether the chromosome numbers and ploidy levels of eight Nicotiana suaveolens accessions are related to the reproductive isolation after crosses with N. tabacum by flow cytometry and chromosome analyses. Additionally, the internal transcribed spacer (ITS) regions of the eight N. suaveolens accessions were sequenced and compared with the previously reported sequences of 22 Suaveolentes species to elucidate the phylogenetic relationships in the section Suaveolentes. We revealed that four N. suaveolens accessions comprised 64 chromosomes, while the other four accessions carried 32 chromosomes. Depending on the ploidy levels of N. suaveolens, several types of reproductive isolation were observed after crosses with N. tabacum, including decreases in the number of capsules and the germination rates of hybrid seeds, as well as hybrid lethality and abscission of enlarged ovaries at 12–17 days after pollination. A phylogenetic analysis involving ITS sequences divided the eight N. suaveolens accessions into three distinct clades. Based on the results, we confirmed that N. suaveolens accessions vary regarding ploidy levels and reproductive isolation mechanisms in crosses with N. tabacum. These accessions will be very useful for revealing and characterizing the reproductive isolation mechanisms in interspecific crosses and their relationships with ploidy levels.