Genetics

Separation in Hybridization

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Science  14 Jan 2011:
Vol. 331, Issue 6014, pp. 126
DOI: 10.1126/science.331.6014.126-d
CREDIT: CAROLINE JOSEFSSON AND LUCA COMAI

Hybridization between two plant species followed by a chromosomal doubling can lead to new species such as the allopolyploid species Arabidopsis suecica. Such hybridization requires genomic silencing and deletion because of functional redundancy among homoeologs (genes that encode proteins that perform similar functions among species). Using microarrays, Chang et al. determined the relative contribution of the parental strains to the transcriptome of A. suecica. They found that the retention of homoeologous genes that are translated into interacting pairs of proteins tended to belong to one parent or the other and that protein networks arising from genes originating in both of the hybrid parents were underrepresented. On the basis of these results, the authors surmise that the bias against genetically mixed complexes may contribute to a greater phenotypic diversity within the hybrid species and may explain the evolutionary success of polyploid species.

Genome Biol. 11, R125 (2010).

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