Chromosomal Evolution in the Genus Brachyscome (Asteraceae, Astereae): Statistical Tests Regarding Correlation Between Changes in Karyotype and Habit Using Phylogenetic Information
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and 8 taxa of its allied genera, Australian Astereae. Statistical tests regarding correlations between changes in chromosome number, total chromosome length, mean chromosome length, karyotypic asymmetry and chromosome length heterogeneity and changes in habit were performed based on the matK molecular phylogenetic tree. The reductions in chromosome number and total chromosome length, and the increases in mean chromosome length, chromosome length heterogeneity and karyotypic asymmetry were found to be correlated with the change in habit from perennial to annual. A reduction in total chromosome length is favored to shorten the mitotic cell cycle and to produce smaller cells conducive to more rapid development of smaller annuals under the time-limited environment. Stepwise dysploidal reductions in chromosome number were achieved through the translocation of large chromosome segments onto other chromosomes, followed by the loss of a centromere, resulting in one fewer linkage group and one fewer haploid chromosome. The correlations between the dysploidal reduction in chromosome number and the increases in mean chromosome length, length heterogeneity and asymmetry in karyotype can be attributed to this mode of chromosomal change. These changes occurred independently in several different lineages in Brachyscome.
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