Seminar: Cytonuclear incompatibility...

Fri, 26 Feb 2016 12:20 PM - 1:10 PM

Bioscience 1007

Cytonuclear incompatibility contributes to incipient speciation

Karen Barnard-Kubow, Ph.D.

University of Virginia

Negative interactions between the cytoplasmic and nuclear genomes (cytonuclear incompatibility) are hypothesized to be among the earliest genetic incompatibilities to arise in speciation. Using a combination of greenhouse crosses and genetic techniques in the plant species Campanulastrum americanum, I find that cytonuclear incompatibility can lead to strong reproductive isolation within a species. However, the importance of cytonuclear incompatibility for reproductive isolation and speciation is influenced by other factors, such as accelerated rates of organelle evolution, and an unusual pattern of organelle inheritance (biparental instead of maternal). The interaction between these traits results in a situation where weaker cytonuclear incompatibilities, rather than strong ones, are more likely to be maintained across hybrid generations, resulting in an overall greater contribution to reproductive isolation.

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