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      Taxonomy and Biogeography of Apomixis in Angiosperms and Associated Biodiversity Characteristics

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          Apomixis in angiosperms is asexual reproduction from seed. Its importance to angiospermous evolution and biodiversity has been difficult to assess mainly because of insufficient taxonomic documentation. Thus, we assembled literature reporting apomixis occurrences among angiosperms and transferred the information to an internet database ( http://www.apomixis.uni-goettingen.de). We then searched for correlations between apomixis occurrences and well-established measures of taxonomic diversity and biogeography. Apomixis was found to be taxonomically widespread with no clear tendency to specific groups and to occur with sexuality at all taxonomic levels. Adventitious embryony was the most frequent form (148 genera) followed by apospory (110) and diplospory (68). All three forms are phylogenetically scattered, but this scattering is strongly associated with measures of biodiversity. Across apomictic-containing orders and families, numbers of apomict-containing genera were positively correlated with total numbers of genera. In general, apomict-containing orders, families, and subfamilies of Asteraceae, Poaceae, and Orchidaceae were larger, i.e., they possessed more families or genera, than non-apomict-containing orders, families or subfamilies. Furthermore, many apomict-containing genera were found to be highly cosmopolitan. In this respect, 62% occupy multiple geographic zones. Numbers of genera containing sporophytic or gametophytic apomicts decreased from the tropics to the arctic, a trend that parallels general biodiversity. While angiosperms appear to be predisposed to shift from sex to apomixis, there is also evidence of reversions to sexuality. Such reversions may result from genetic or epigenetic destabilization events accompanying hybridization, polyploidy, or other cytogenetic alterations. Because of increased within-plant genetic and genomic heterogeneity, range expansions and diversifications at the species and genus levels may occur more rapidly upon reversion to sexuality. The significantly-enriched representations of apomicts among highly diverse and geographically-extensive taxa, from genera to orders, support this conclusion.

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          Most cited references 74

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           J. Müller (1964)
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            Asynchronous expression of duplicate genes in angiosperms may cause apomixis, bispory, tetraspory, and polyembryony

             John Carman (1997)
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              Hybridization, glaciation and geographical parthenogenesis.

              Parthenogenetic organisms are all female and reproduce clonally. The transition from sex to parthenogenesis is frequently associated with a major change in geographical distribution, often biasing parthenogenetic lineages towards environments that were severely affected by the glacial cycles of the Late Pleistocene. It is difficult to interpret these patterns as arising simply as a result of selection for the demographic effects of parthenogenesis because many parthenogenetic organisms are also hybrids. Here, I argue that many cases of geographical parthenogenesis might be best seen as part of a broader pattern of hybrid advantage in new and open environments. Parthenogenesis in these cases could have a more secondary role of stabilizing strongly selected hybrid genotypes. In this context, geographical parthenogenesis might tell us more about the role of hybridization in evolution than about the role of sex.

                Author and article information

                CRC Crit Rev Plant Sci
                CRC Crit Rev Plant Sci
                Critical Reviews in Plant Sciences
                Taylor & Francis
                3 September 2014
                29 May 2014
                : 33
                : 5
                : 414-427
                [ a ]Georg August University Göttingen, Albrecht-von-Haller Institute for Plant Sciences, Department of Systematic Botany , Göttingen, Germany
                [ b ]Gesellschaft für wissenschaftliche Datenverarbeitung mbH Göttingen (GWDG), Arbeitsgruppe Anwendungs- und Informationssysteme , Göttingen, Germany
                [ c ]Plants, Soils and Climate Department, Utah State University , Logan, UT, USA
                Author notes
                Address correspondence to Elvira Hörandl, Georg August University Göttingen, Albrecht-von-Haller Institute for Plant Sciences, Department of Systematic Botany , Untere Karspüle 2, D37073 Göttingen, Germany. E-mail: elvira.hoerandl@ 123456biologie.uni-goettingen.de

                Color versions of one or more of the figures in the article can be found online at www.tandfonline.com/bpts.

                © 2014 The Author(s). Published with license by Taylor & Francis

                This is an Open Access article. Non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly attributed, cited, and is not altered, transformed, or built upon in any way, is permitted. The moral rights of the named author(s) have been asserted.

                Page count
                Figures: 8, Tables: 1, References: 78, Pages: 14
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