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Phylogeography and reproduction modes in Limonium spp.

The genus Limonium (Plumbaginaceae) has long been recognized to have sexual and apomictic (asexual seed formation) modes of reproduction.

Scanning electron microscope photographs of Limonium ovalifolium and L. multiflorum stigmas and pollen grains.
Scanning electron microscope photographs of Limonium ovalifolium and L. multiflorum stigmas and pollen grains. Image: Rois et al.

Rois et al. examine correlations between phylogeographical patterns and modes of reproduction in diploid and tetraploid Limonium spp. They study haplotype sharing within and among species with distinct ploidy levels using cpDNA haplotype distribution, ploidy groups, species groups and geographic origin. Reproductive biology analyses showed that diploid species mainly form sexual embryo sacs while tetraploid species have only apomictic embryo sacs. Altogether, the findings provide evidence for a pattern of ‘geographical parthenogenesis’ of coastal diploid and tetraploid Limonium spp.

Written by Annals of Botany Office

The Annals of Botany Office is based at the University of Oxford.

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