Plant Systematics and Evolution

, Volume 266, Issue 1–2, pp 59–78 | Cite as

Polyploidy, reproductive biology, and Rosaceae: understanding evolution and making classifications

  • T. A. Dickinson
  • E. Lo
  • N. Talent


The relationship between polyploidy and breeding system is of critical importance for understanding evolution and improving the taxonomy of large Rosaceous genera. Reviewing the data available for the family and for tribe Pyreae (formerly subfamily Maloideae) in particular, it appears that hybridization, pseudogamous gametophytic apomixis, polyploidy, and self-compatibility are closely linked. Studies of the evolutionary significance of any one or two of these factors need to consider the others as well. Taxonomic decisions likewise need to be informed by knowledge of how these factors affect patterns of phenetic and genetic variation.


Gametophytic apomixis hybridization Maloideae pollen-ovule ratio pseudogamy self-compatibility 


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© Springer 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Green Plant Herbarium (TRT), Department of Natural HistoryRoyal Ontario MuseumTorontoCanada
  2. 2.Department of Ecology and Evolutionary BiologyUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada

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