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Hybridization rate and hybrid fitness for Camelina microcarpa Andrz. ex DC (♀) and Camelina sativa (L.) Crantz(Brassicaceae) (♂)

Martin, S.L., Lujan-Toro, B.E., Sauder, C.A., James, T., Ohadi, S., Hall, L.M. (2019). Hybridization rate and hybrid fitness for Camelina microcarpa Andrz. ex DC (♀) and Camelina sativa (L.) Crantz(Brassicaceae) (♂), 12(3), 443-455.


© 2018 Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada. Evolutionary Applications published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd Reproduced with the permission of the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. Hybridization between crops and their wild relatives has the potential to introduce novel variation into wild populations. Camelina (Camelina sativa) is a promising oilseed and cultivars with modified seed characteristics and herbicide resistance are in development, prompting a need to evaluate the potential for novel trait introgression into weedy relatives. Little-podded false flax (littlepod; Camelina microcarpa) is a naturalized weed in Canada and the USA. Here we evaluated the hybridization rate between the three cytotypes of littlepod (♀) and camelina (♂), assessed characteristics of hybrids, and evaluated the fitness of hexaploid littlepod and camelina hybrids in the glasshouse and field. In total we conducted, 1,005 manual crosses with diploid littlepod, 1, 172 crosses with tetraploid littlepod, and 896 crosses with hexaploid littlepod. Hybrids were not produced by the diploids, but were produced by the tetraploids and hexaploids at rates of one hybrid for 2,000 ovules pollinated and 24 hybrids for 25 ovules pollinated, respectively. Hybrids between tetraploid littlepod and camelina showed low pollen fertility and produced a small number of seeds. In the glasshouse, hybrids between hexaploid littlepod and camelina also showed significantly lower pollen fertility and seed production than parental lines, but their seeds showed high viability. A similar pattern was observed in field trials, with hybrids showing earlier flowering, reduced biomass, seed production and seed weight. However, seed produced by the hybrids showed greater viability than that produced by hexaploid littlepod and is potentially the result of a shortened lifecycle. The introgression of lifecycle traits into littlepod populations may facilitate range expansion and contribute to crop gene persistence. Consequently, future work should evaluate the hybridization rate in the field, the fitness of advanced generation backcrosses, and the role of time to maturity in limiting hexaploid littlepod's distribution.

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