The genetic architecture of tristyly and its breakdown to self-fertilization.

Arunkumar Ramesh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


The floral polymorphism tristyly involves three style morphs with a reciprocal arrangement of stigma and anther heights governed by two diallelic loci (S and M). Tristyly functions to promote cross-pollination, but modifications to stamen position commonly cause transitions to selfing. Here, we integrate whole-genome sequencing and genetic mapping to investigate the genetic architecture of the M locus and the genetic basis of independent transitions to selfing in tristylous Eichhornia paniculata. We crossed independently derived semi-homostylous selfing variants of the long- and mid-styled morph fixed for alternate alleles at the M locus (ssmm and ssMM, respectively), and backcrossed the F1 to the parental ssmm genotype. We phenotyped and genotyped 462 backcross progeny using 1450 genotyping-by-sequencing (GBS) markers and performed composite interval mapping to identify quantitative trait loci (QTL) governing style-length and anther-height variation. A QTL associated with the primary style-morph differences (style length and anther height) mapped to linkage group 5 and spanned ~13-27.5 Mbp of assembled sequence. Bulk segregant analysis identified 334 genes containing SNPs potentially linked to the M locus. The stamen modifications characterizing each selfing variant were governed by loci on different linkage groups. Our results provide an important step towards identifying the M locus and demonstrate that transitions to selfing have originated by independent sets of mating-system modifier genes unlinked to the M locus, a pattern inconsistent with a recombinational origin of selfing variants at a putative supergene.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)752-765
JournalMolecular Ecology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 26 Dec 2016


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