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Genetic control of reproductive and vegetative phase change in the Eucalyptus risdonii - E. tenuiramis Complex


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Potts, BM and Wiltshire, RJE and Reid, JB (1998) Genetic control of reproductive and vegetative phase change in the Eucalyptus risdonii - E. tenuiramis Complex. Australian Journal of Botany, 46 (1). pp. 45-63. ISSN 0067-1924

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Eucalyptus risdonii Hook.f. is believed to be a juvenilised form of its sister species, E. tenuiramis Miq.,
differing largely in the retention of the juvenile leaf type at reproductive maturity. The genetic basis of
this ontogenetic variation was examined by monitoring reproductive and vegetative phase changes in
1201 open-pollinated progeny from 40 E. risdoniiÐE. tenuiramis populations in a field trial over
6 years. Vegetative and reproductive phase changes were highly heritable and genetically independent
within populations. Estimates of individual narrow-sense heritabilities for height and timing of
vegetative phase change ranged from 0.46Ð0.67 and 0.19Ð0.23 respectively, and for time of first
flowering from 0.31Ð0.41. Variation in the height of vegetative phase change amongst progeny grown in
a common environment was very similar to that observed in the natural populations from different
environments, demonstrating a genetic basis to a stepped cline in the retention of the juvenile leaf form
(neoteny). However, a separate pattern of variability in the time to flowering was evident, with
precocious flowering found in a number of phenetic groups. This independent variation of reproductive
and vegetative phase changes may allow dramatic heterochronic alterations in morphology and
physiology with minimal genetic change. The continuous nature of the neotenic variation suggests that
speciation by this mode of evolution is not yet complete in the E. risdoniiÐE. tenuiramis complex, but
has presumably operated to produce many other neotenous eucalypt species.

Item Type: Article
Journal or Publication Title: Australian Journal of Botany
Page Range: pp. 45-63
ISSN: 0067-1924
Identification Number - DOI: 10.1071/BT97020
Additional Information:

BM Potts. Copyright © 1998 CSIRO

Date Deposited: 12 Sep 2008 00:40
Last Modified: 18 Nov 2014 03:48
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