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Am Nat. 2006 Apr;167(4):E88-101. Epub 2006 Mar 8.

Polyploids with different origins and ancestors form a single sexual polyploid species.

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Section of Integrative Biology, University of Texas, Austin, Texas 78712, USA.


Polyploidization is one of the few mechanisms that can produce instantaneous speciation. Multiple origins of tetraploid lineages from the same two diploid progenitors are common, but here we report the first known instance of a single tetraploid species that originated repeatedly from at least three diploid ancestors. Parallel evolution of advertisement calls in tetraploid lineages of gray tree frogs has allowed these lineages to interbreed, resulting in a single sexually interacting polyploid species despite the separate origins of polyploids from different diploids. Speciation by polyploidization in these frogs has been the source of considerable debate, but the various published hypotheses have assumed that polyploids arose through either autopolyploidy or allopolyploidy of extant diploid species. We utilized molecular markers and advertisement calls to infer the origins of tetraploid gray tree frogs. Previous hypotheses did not sufficiently account for the observed data. Instead, we found that tetraploids originated multiple times from extant diploid gray tree frogs and two other, apparently extinct, lineages of tree frogs. Tetraploid lineages then merged through interbreeding to result in a single species. Thus, polyploid species may have complex origins, especially in systems in which isolating mechanisms (such as advertisement calls) are affected directly through hybridization and polyploidy.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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