Ecological and molecular characterisation of a naturally occurring floral homeotic variant of Capsella bursa-pastoris (L.) Medik.

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Title: Ecological and molecular characterisation of a naturally occurring floral homeotic variant of Capsella bursa-pastoris (L.) Medik.
Authors: Hameister, Steffen
Thesis advisor: apl. Prof. Dr. Barbara Neuffer
Thesis referee: PD Dr. Walter Bleeker
Abstract: The evolutionary relevance of homeotic alterations for the origin of new taxonomic entities is still a controversial objective in plant sciences. In this context, the discovery of a floral homeotic variant of Capsella bursa-pastoris in natural populations offers the unique opportunity to elucidate the evolutionary significance of homeotic mutants in the wild. Since all petals are transformed into additional stamens, the variant was termed Stamenoid petals (Spe). In this thesis, a combination of ecological and molecular characterisation of the variant was performed, to improve the understanding of evolutionary processes in plant populations. Molecular markers were used to analyze genetic differentiation among known provenances and also within a large sympatric population of wild-type and homeotic mutant. The results clearly suggest a repeated evolution of the novel flower morphology. Furthermore, genetic analyses provided substantial evidence, that the two floral variants are well-defined into flower-type dependent sub-samples within one population. The evaluation of phenotypic traits elucidated that the homeotic variant is not hampered in fitness. In greenhouse and field experiments, a significant ecological differentiation in the onset of flowering was detected among variants. Finally, the novel floral phenotype shows a co-dominant inheritance, and a marker-assisted mapping approach exposed a single locus in a genetic map. In conclusion, the comprehensive study of ecological and molecular aspects indicates that the floral homeotic variant may be treated as an established taxonomic entity and proved the predicted role as model for evolutionary objectives. Since morphological alterations like Spe are discussed as a result of macroevolution, the homeotic variant of C. bursa-pastoris provides the opportunity to survey a (macro)evolutionary novelty in association with continuous micro-evolutionary adaptation
Subject Keywords: floral homeotic variant; Brassicaceae; population structure; flowering time; AFLP; linkage mapping
Issue Date: 7-Sep-2009
Type of publication: Dissertation oder Habilitation [doctoralThesis]
Appears in Collections:FB05 - E-Dissertationen

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