Chung, Kyong-Sook
Hipp, Andrew
Weber, Jaime A.

Dynamics of chromosome number and genome size variation in a cytogenetically variable sedge (Carex scoparia var. scoparia, Cyperaceae)

Date created
Premise of the study: High intraspecific cytogenetic variation in the sedge genus Carex (Cyperaceae) is hypothesized to be due to the "diffuse" or non-localized centromeres, which facilitate chromosome fission and fusion. If chromosome number changes are dominated by fission and fusion, then chromosome evolution will result primarily in changes in the potential for recombination among populations. Chromosome duplications, on the other hand, entail consequent opportunities for divergent evolution of paralogs. In this study, we evaluate whether genome size and chromosome number covary within species. Methods: We used flow cytometry to estimate genome sizes in Carex scoparia var. scoparia, sampling 99 plants (23 populations) in the Chicago region, and we used meiotic chromosome observations to document chromosome numbers and chromosome pairing relations. Key results: Chromosome numbers range from 2n = 62 to 2n = 68, and nuclear DNA 1C content from 0.342 to 0.361 pg DNA. Regressions of DNA content on chromosome number are nonsignificant for data analyzed by individual or population, and a regression model that excludes slope is favored over a model in which chromosome number predicts genome size. Conclusions: Chromosome rearrangements within cytogenetically variable Carex species are more likely a consequence of fission and fusion than of duplication and deletion. Moreover, neither genome size nor chromosome number is spatially autocorrelated, which suggests the potential for rapid chromosome evolution by fission and fusion at a relatively fine geographic scale (<350 km). These findings have important implications for ecological restoration and speciation within the largest angiosperm genus of the temperate zone.
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Volume, Issue, Page Number
98, 1, 122-129
Related Entities
American Journal of Botany (published by)