Genome size variation in the genus Avena
© 2016 Published by NRC Research Press. Genome size is an indicator of evolutionary distance and a metric for genome characterization. Here, we report accurate estimates of genome size in 99 accessions from 26 species of Avena. We demonstrate that the average genome size of C genome diploid species (2C = 10.26 pg) is 15% larger than that of A genome species (2C = 8.95 pg), and that this difference likely accounts for a progression of size among tetraploid species, where AB < AC < CC (average 2C = 16.76, 18.60, and 21.78 pg, respectively). All accessions from three hexaploid species with the ACD genome configuration had similar genome sizes (average 2C = 25.74 pg). Genome size was mostly consistent within species and in general agreement with current information about evolutionary distance among species. Results also suggest that most of the polyploid species in Avena have experienced genome downsizing in relation to their diploid progenitors. Genome size measurements could provide additional quality control for species identification in germplasm collections, especially in cases where diploid and polyploid species have similar morphology.
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