Two types of partial fertility in a diploid population of the fern Thelypteris decursive-pinnata (Thelypteridaceae)

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Abstract

Two types of abnormal sporophytes were observed in a population of diploid Thelypteris decursive-pinnata. Most sporophytes in this population exhibited regular chromosome pairing, resulting in the formation of 30 bivalents in meiosis I; however, they produced abortive spores to various degrees. Some formed large globose spores at low frequencies, most likely to be unreduced diplospores. The other type of abnormal sporophyte underwent synaptic failure to form 60 univalents at meiosis I, but produced fertile spores, mostly large globose ones at low frequencies. The globose spores were considered unreduced diplospores because the gametophytes arising from them produced tetraploid sporophytes by gametophytic selfing. One tetraploid formed only univalents at meiosis I. Allozyme variation was not detected in this population, although neighboring ordinary diploid populations exhibited it to a certain degree. The sympatric occurrence and allozyme uniformity of the two groups suggest that both are offspring of a founder sporophyte, which may have possessed two types of mutated recessive genes responsible for the spore sterility and the synaptic failure in meiosis. Unreduced spores formed by these two types may play an important role in the polyploid speciation of this species.

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Acknowledgments

The authors thank two anonymous reviewers for useful comments on the manuscript.

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Correspondence to Narumi Nakato.

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Nakato, N., Ootsuki, R., Murakami, N. et al. Two types of partial fertility in a diploid population of the fern Thelypteris decursive-pinnata (Thelypteridaceae). J Plant Res 125, 465–474 (2012). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10265-011-0461-7

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Keywords

  • Partial fertility
  • Polyploid speciation
  • Synaptic failure
  • Thelypteris decursive-pinnata
  • Unreduced spore