Paternal inheritance of chloroplast DNA in interspecific hybrids in the genus Larrea (Zygophyllaceae)

Tien Wei Yang, Yoko A. Yang, Zhongguo Xiong

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28 Scopus citations


The mode of chloroplast DNA (cpDNA) inheritance was investigated in the genus Larrea (Zygophyllaceae) by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) amplification of cpDNA fragments using three pairs of chloroplast universal primers. A total of 20 F1s from interspecific crosses among five different taxa in the section Bifolium was examined. Twelve F1s were from six crosses between L. cuneifolia (4x) and L. divaricata (2x) (Peru or Argentina) or L. tridentata (2x or 4x). Eight F1s were from two sets of reciprocal crosses between L. divaricata (2x) (Argentina) and L. tridentata (2x). Length polymorphism was observed in all three regions of cpDNA that separated L. cuneifolia parents from L. divaricata and L. tridentata parents and in one of the three cpDNA regions that differentiated L. divaricata (Argentina) parents from L. tridentata (2x) parents. In each case, it was the paternal cpDNA marker that appeared in the F1 individuals. This was further confirmed by restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) analysis of the amplified cpDNA fragments. Larrea may be the fifth genus reported in angiosperms with a paternal bias in cpDNA transmission. Possible mechanisms that may result in paternal cpDNA inheritance were briefly reviewed. Based on the observed uniparental paternal inheritance of cpDNA, restriction analysis of the three cpDNA regions and previous cytogenetic studies, L. divaricata was probably the maternal progenitor of L. cuneifolia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1452-1458
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican journal of botany
Issue number10
StatePublished - 2000


  • Chloroplast DNA
  • Interspecific hybrids
  • Larrea
  • Paternal inheritance
  • Zygophyllaceae

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Genetics
  • Plant Science


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