Asexual reproduction is relatively common in higher plants and comprises vegetative reproduction or clonal reproduction through seeds (apomixis or agamospermy). Apomixis is found in less than 1% of angiosperms and rarely in crop plants. While apomicts reproduce clonal offspring, sexual species bring about new genetically different apomictic lineages.
Rubus subgenus Rubus is a group of mostly apomictic and polyploid species with complicated taxonomy and ongoing hybridization. Šarhanová et al. analyse molecular data to show that apomictic brambles are highly heterozygous, with each apomictic species derived from a single distinct genotype. The authors present a framework for bramble evolution in Europe, concluding that Holocene anthropogenic changes in landscape may have led to migration of parental taxa and spread of apomictic hybrids.
This paper is part of the Annals of Botany Special Issue on Polyploidy in Ecology and Evolution. It will be free access until October 2017, then available only to subscribers until August 2018 when it will be free access again.
Šarhanová, P., Sharbel, T. F., Sochor, M., Vašut, R. J., Dančák, M., & Trávníček, B. (2017). Hybridization drives evolution of apomicts in Rubus subgenus Rubus: evidence from microsatellite markers. Annals of Botany, 120(2), 317–328. https://doi.org/10.1093/aob/mcx033