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Genetics. 1989 May;122(1):211-22.

The genetic architecture of interspecific variation in mimulus.

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  • 1Department of Biological Sciences, University of Exeter, Exeter EX4 4PS, United Kingdom.


The genetic architecture of various floral and morphological differences between Mimulus cupriphilus and Mimulus guttatus is investigated. M. cupriphilus is believed to have speciated from M. guttatus in the recent past. The two parent species, the F(1) and F(2), and two backcrosses were grown and scored for 23 different characters. The analysis of means revealed significant epistasis for a number of the floral characters, particularly those involving the length of parts. Dominance was generally toward M. guttatus, except for the characters related to flowering time. Analysis of the genetic correlations between characters revealed that there were at least four different polygenic genetic systems, governing flowering time, size of flower, number of spots on the corolla, and general size. An analysis of minimum gene number suggested that there were at least 3-7 genes controlling floral size, and a different three controlling floral spot number. Two other characters, corolla lobe shape and stem color, were produced by independent major gene differences. Annuality was also shown to be heritable. The two species appear to utilize the same gene for copper tolerance. The results are discussed in the light of current theories of speciation.

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