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      The Pattern of Genetic Variability in Apomictic Clones of Taraxacum officinale Indicates the Alternation of Asexual and Sexual Histories of Apomicts

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          Dandelions (genus Taraxacum) comprise a group of sexual diploids and apomictic polyploids with a complicated reticular evolution. Apomixis (clonal reproduction through seeds) in this genus is considered to be obligate, and therefore represent a good model for studying the role of asexual reproduction in microevolutionary processes of apomictic genera. In our study, a total of 187 apomictic individuals composing a set of nine microspecies (sampled across wide geographic area in Europe) were genotyped for six microsatellite loci and for 162 amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) markers. Our results indicated that significant genetic similarity existed within accessions with low numbers of genotypes. Genotypic variability was high among accessions but low within accessions. Clustering methods discriminated individuals into nine groups corresponding to their phenotypes. Furthermore, two groups of apomictic genotypes were observed, which suggests that they had different asexual histories. A matrix compatibility test suggests that most of the variability within accession groups was mutational in origin. However, the presence of recombination was also detected. The accumulation of mutations in asexual clones leads to the establishment of a network of clone mates. However, this study suggests that the clones primarily originated from the hybridisation between sexual and apomicts.

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          Most cited references 33

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          TreeView: an application to display phylogenetic trees on personal computers.

           Roderic Page (1996)
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            Universal primers for amplification of three non-coding regions of chloroplast DNA.

            Six primers for the amplification of three non-coding regions of chloroplast DNA via the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) have been designed. In order to find out whether these primers were universal, we used them in an attempt to amplify DNA from various plant species. The primers worked for most species tested including algae, bryophytes, pteridophytes, gymnosperms and angiosperms. The fact that they amplify chloroplast DNA non-coding regions over a wide taxonomic range means that these primers may be used to study the population biology (in supplying markers) and evolution (inter- and probably intraspecific phylogenies) of plants.
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              AFLP: a new technique for DNA fingerprinting.

              A novel DNA fingerprinting technique called AFLP is described. The AFLP technique is based on the selective PCR amplification of restriction fragments from a total digest of genomic DNA. The technique involves three steps: (i) restriction of the DNA and ligation of oligonucleotide adapters, (ii) selective amplification of sets of restriction fragments, and (iii) gel analysis of the amplified fragments. PCR amplification of restriction fragments is achieved by using the adapter and restriction site sequence as target sites for primer annealing. The selective amplification is achieved by the use of primers that extend into the restriction fragments, amplifying only those fragments in which the primer extensions match the nucleotides flanking the restriction sites. Using this method, sets of restriction fragments may be visualized by PCR without knowledge of nucleotide sequence. The method allows the specific co-amplification of high numbers of restriction fragments. The number of fragments that can be analyzed simultaneously, however, is dependent on the resolution of the detection system. Typically 50-100 restriction fragments are amplified and detected on denaturing polyacrylamide gels. The AFLP technique provides a novel and very powerful DNA fingerprinting technique for DNAs of any origin or complexity.

                Author and article information

                Role: Editor
                PLoS One
                PLoS ONE
                PLoS ONE
                Public Library of Science (San Francisco, USA )
                1 August 2012
                : 7
                : 8
                Department of Botany, Faculty of Science, Palacký University, Olomouc, Czech Republic
                University of Massachusetts, United States of America
                Author notes

                Competing Interests: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.

                Conceived and designed the experiments: RJV ĽM. Performed the experiments: ĽM. Analyzed the data: ĽM. Contributed reagents/materials/analysis tools: ĽM BT MK RJV. Wrote the paper: ĽM RJV. Edited manuscript: BT MK. Phenotyping the plant material: BT. 4 AFLP optimalization: MK.


                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

                Page count
                Pages: 14
                This work was funded by the Czech Science Foundation (GACR:, Grant no. 206/09/P356. In addition, LM was supported by the Palacký University fundings (, nos. IGA PrF 2010/1 and 2011/3 and 2012/1; RJV by GACR 206/09/1126 ( and MK by grant by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports of the Czech Republic (, no. MSM 6198959215. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.
                Research Article
                Anatomy and Physiology
                Reproductive System
                Evolutionary Biology
                Evolutionary Processes
                Population Genetics
                Genetic Polymorphism
                Evolutionary Systematics
                Population Genetics
                Genetic Polymorphism
                Plant Science
                Flowering Plants
                Plant Evolution
                Plant Taxonomy
                Population Biology
                Population Genetics
                Genetic Polymorphism



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