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F\(_1\) hybrid inviability in Eucalyptus: the case of E.ovata X E.globulus

Lopez, GA, Potts, BM and Tilyard, P 2000 , 'F\(_1\) hybrid inviability in Eucalyptus: the case of E.ovata X E.globulus' , Heredity, vol. 85 , pp. 242-250 , doi:

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The impact of inbreeding and hybridization on fitness was compared in the two co-occurring forest tree species, Eucalyptus ovata and E. globulus, aimed at explaining the rarity of their hybrids in nature. The success of selfing, open-pollination and outcrossing of both species and interspecific hybridization was monitored from seed-set to 10-year's growth in a field trial. There was a unilateral barrier to hybridization with seed-set obtained only with E. ovata females. The F\(_1\) hybrids exhibited reduced viability compared to intraspecific cross-types at virtually all stages of the life cycle and are clearly at a selective disadvantage compared with their open-pollinated E. ovata half-sibs with which they would directly compete in nature. Eucalyptus ovata and E. globulus overlap in their flowering time but the F\(_1\) hybrids flowered later with virtually no overlap with either species. The asynchronous flowering and reduced reproductive fitness of F\(_1\) hybrids would markedly limit the opportunity for advanced generation hybridization. Inbreeding similarly had a deleterious effect on the fitness of both species, and the F\(_1\)hybrids were most competitive with the E. ovata selfs. It is argued that changes in inbreeding levels of parental populations may be a key factor affecting the relative fitness of hybrids and their potential to impact on the pure species gene pool. Reduced fitness of the pure species through inbreeding may result in hybridization having its greatest evolutionary impact in small founder or relict populations.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Lopez, GA and Potts, BM and Tilyard, P
Keywords: Eucalyptus globulus, Eucalyptus ovata, hybridization, hybrid fitness, inbreeding, reproductive isolation
Journal or Publication Title: Heredity
ISSN: 0018-067X
DOI / ID Number:
Additional Information:

BM Potts. Nature Publishing Group

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