The genetic breakdown of sporophytic self-incompatibility in Tolpis coronopifolia (Asteraceae)


Summary Angiosperm diversity has been shaped by mating system evolution, with the most common transition from outcrossing to self-fertilizing. To investigate the genetic basis of this transition, we performed crosses between two species endemic to the Canary Islands, the self-compatible (SC) species Tolpis coronopifolia and its self-incompatible (SI) relative Tolpis santosii. We scored self-compatibility as self-seed set of recombinant plants within two F2 populations. To map and genetically characterize the breakdown of SI, we built a draft genome sequence of T.coronopifolia, genotyped F2 plants using multiplexed shotgun genotyping (MSG), and located MSG markers to the genome sequence. We identified a single quantitative trait locus (QTL) that explains nearly all variation in self-seed set in both F2 populations. To identify putative causal genetic variants within the QTL, we performed transcriptome sequencing on mature floral tissue from both SI and SC species, constructed a transcriptome for each species, and then located each predicted transcript to the T.coronopifolia genome sequence. We annotated each predicted gene within the QTL and found two strong candidates for SI breakdown. Each gene has a coding sequence insertion/deletion mutation within the SC species that produces a truncated protein. Homologs of each gene have been implicated in pollen development, pollen germination, and pollen tube growth in other species.

New Phytologist