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Article

Do Genetic Drift and Gene Flow Affect the Geographic Distribution of Female Plants in Gynodioecious Lobelia siphilitica?

1
Department of Marine and Environmental Science, Ocean Genome Legacy Center, Northeastern University, Nahant, MA 01908, USA
2
Department of Biology, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN 47405, USA
3
Department of Integrative Biology, University of Guelph, Guelph, ON N1G 2W1, Canada
4
Department of Biological Sciences, Kent State University, Kent, OH 44240, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Fabrizio Grassi
Plants 2022, 11(6), 825; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11060825
Received: 22 February 2022 / Revised: 18 March 2022 / Accepted: 18 March 2022 / Published: 20 March 2022
(This article belongs to the Section Plant Genetics, Genomics and Biotechnology)
Variation in population sex ratio is particularly pronounced in gynodioecious angiosperms. Extremely high female frequencies in gynodioecious populations cannot be readily explained by selective forces alone. To assess the contributions of drift and gene flow to extreme sex-ratio variation, we documented sex ratio and population size in 92 populations of Lobelia siphilitica across its range and genotyped plants using plastid and nuclear genetic markers. Similarity in spatial patterns of genetic and demographic variables may suggest that drift and/or gene flow have contributed to population sex-ratio variation in L. siphilitica. We found strong spatial structuring of extremely high female frequencies: populations with >50% female plants are restricted to the south–central portion of the range. However, we did not detect any spatial structuring in population size nor metrics of genetic diversity, suggesting that extreme variation in female frequency is not strongly affected by drift or gene flow. Extreme sex-ratio variation is frequently observed in gynodioecious plants, but its causes are difficult to identify. Further investigation into mechanisms that create or maintain the spatial structure of sex ratios in gynodioecious species will provide much needed insight. View Full-Text
Keywords: gene flow; genetic drift; geographic structure; gynodioecy; Lobelia siphilitica; non-selective mechanisms; sex ratio gene flow; genetic drift; geographic structure; gynodioecy; Lobelia siphilitica; non-selective mechanisms; sex ratio
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MDPI and ACS Style

Appiah-Madson, H.J.; Knox, E.B.; Caruso, C.M.; Case, A.L. Do Genetic Drift and Gene Flow Affect the Geographic Distribution of Female Plants in Gynodioecious Lobelia siphilitica? Plants 2022, 11, 825. https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11060825

AMA Style

Appiah-Madson HJ, Knox EB, Caruso CM, Case AL. Do Genetic Drift and Gene Flow Affect the Geographic Distribution of Female Plants in Gynodioecious Lobelia siphilitica? Plants. 2022; 11(6):825. https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11060825

Chicago/Turabian Style

Appiah-Madson, Hannah J., Eric B. Knox, Christina M. Caruso, and Andrea L. Case. 2022. "Do Genetic Drift and Gene Flow Affect the Geographic Distribution of Female Plants in Gynodioecious Lobelia siphilitica?" Plants 11, no. 6: 825. https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11060825

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