The extent to which hybridization leads to gene flow between plant species depends on the structure of hybrid populations. To assess possible variation in a hybrid population structure, Yan et al. evaluate magnitude and direction of natural hybridization between two diploid Chinese endemic species Rhododendron spiciferum and R. spinuliferum.
Thirteen nuclear microsatellites and cpDNA trnL-F were employed to characterize the genetic structure of 566 individuals collected from 15 non-allopatric populations and nine allopatric parental populations. Gene flow between R. sjpiciferum and R. spinuliferum is found to be bidirectional and asymmetric in some hybrid swarms. Introgression, rather than hybrid speciation, is a more likely outcome of hybridization between these hybridizing taxa.
Jatropha curcas could be an oil crop with major biofuel potential, but the breeding germplasm has little variation. Botanists have found that there is genetic potential in previously overlooked non-toxic jatropha, but it needs conservation.
What is it that makes a plant get up and stay up? A new review looks at the creation of secondary cell walls. These microscopic features are the key to understanding the architecture of the plants we see around us.
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