The Dynamic Nature of Apomixis in the Angiosperms

  title={The Dynamic Nature of Apomixis in the Angiosperms},
  author={Jeannette Whitton and Christopher J. Sears and Eric J Baack and Sarah Perin Otto},
  journal={International Journal of Plant Sciences},
  pages={169 - 182}
Apomixis, the asexual production of seed, is a trait estimated to occur in fewer than 1% of flowering plant species, with an uneven distribution among lineages. In the past decade, targeted research efforts have aimed at clarifying the genetic basis of apomixis, with the goal of engineering or breeding apomictic crops. Recent work suggests a simple genetic basis for apomixis, but it also indicates that natural populations of apomicts are much more complex than is often assumed. For example, in… 

How apomictic taxa are treated in current taxonomy: A review

This review aims to provide an overview of the main characteristics of “apomictic genera” and the approaches used to treat apomixis taxa within these genera and the authors’ view on important points, which need to be taken into account in the classification of apomic taxa.

The Rise of Apomixis in Natural Plant Populations

The state of knowledge on origin, establishment and maintenance of natural apomixis is reviewed to consider the potential risks of pollen transfer and introgression into sexual crop fields, which might be overcome by using pollen-sterile or cleistogamous variants.

Apomixis in Neotropical Vegetation

Many plant families that are common in the neotropical region show facultative apomixis associated with polyploidy and hybridization events, which seems to play a key role in the establishment of new evolutionary lineages in a wide variety of environmental conditions.

Role of Apomixis in Perpetuation of Flowering Plants: Ecological Perspective

It is understood that polyploidisation and/or hybridisation-associated shifts as well as environmental gradients play a role in establishing apomixis in most of the studied taxa.

Evolution of the apomixis transmitting chromosome in Pennisetum

The Apospory-Specific Genomic Region likely preceded speciation in Cenchrus and its lateral transfer through hybridization and subsequent chromosome repatterning may have contributed to further Speciation in the two genera.

Differential effects of polyploidy and diploidy on fitness of apomictic Boechera

It is shown that paternal contribution is very important for trait success, even though all offspring are genetically identical to the mother plant, and the flexibility of diploid apomicts of the genus Boechera for rare sexual events contributes to their success in nature.

Harnessing Apomixis for Heterosis Breeding in Crop Improvement

Genetics of apomixis is very complex and is often riddled with large-scale segregation distortions, so unraveling of genetic and molecular mechanisms controlling apomIXis could revolutionize the way agriculture is practiced.

Quantitative variation for apomictic reproduction in the genus Boechera (Brassicaceae).

The data presented here provide a framework for choosing specific genotypes for correlations with large "omics" data sets being collected for Boechera to study population structure, gene flow, and evolution of specific traits.

Evolution of gametophytic apomixis in flowering plants: an alternative model from Maloid Rosaceae

The model suggests explanations for the relative frequencies of apospory and diplospory, and for the wide but incomplete associations of aPOSpory with a pollination requirement (pseudogamy) and of diPLospory with autonomous development of the endosperm.


With few exceptions, diploid apomicts exhibited markedly high levels of heterozygosity resulting from the combination of disparate genomes, which strongly suggests that most apomictic diploids’ lineages are of hybrid origin, and that the genomic consequences of hybridization allow for the transition to gametophytic apomixis in this genus.



Apomixis: Developmental Characteristics and Genetics

Asexual reproduction through seeds, or apomixis, is widespread in angiosperms, although does not happen frequently, and its deployment in major crops would afford advantages for breeding and maintenance of hybrid genotypes.

Apomixis in flowering plants: an overview.

  • A. Richards
  • Biology
    Philosophical transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological sciences
  • 2003
Apomixis is a common feature of perennial plants, which occurs in ca. 60% of the British flora, but has been largely ignored by reproductive theoreticians. Successful individuals may cover huge

Quantification of progeny classes in two facultatively apomictic accessions of Hieracium.

A method for identifying individuals from different progeny classes based on the inheritance of introduced heterologous marker genes is developed, which permits the screening of many thousands of seedlings at germination, and the consequent isolation of individuals associated with rare classes.

Is supernumerary chromatin involved in gametophytic apomixis of polyploid plants?

The possible involvement of supernumerary chromatin, formed as a result of interspecific hybridization, in the origin of apomixis is explored here.

Reproductive strategy and population variability in the facultative apomict Hieracium pilosella (Asteraceae).

There was a significant, positive relationship between the measured potential for sexual reproduction and population genotypic variability, indicating that sex has played a role in the structuring of these populations; however, a causal relationship cannot be stated because of the use of regression.

Asexual reproduction in a close relative of Arabidopsis: a genetic investigation of apomixis in Boechera (Brassicaceae).

The apomictic phenotype was not transmitted by genetic crossing as a single dominant locus on the Het chromosome, suggesting a complex genetic control of apomixis that has implications for future genetic and evolutionary analyses in this group.

Developmental genetics of gametophytic apomixis.

Mapping diplosporous apomixis in tetraploid Tripsacum: one gene or several genes?

The analysis revealed the tetrasomic nature of the inheritance of the chromosomal segment controlling apomixis, which contradicts the usually accepted hypothesis of an allopolyploid origin of apomictic species.

Differentiation in reproductive strategy between sexual and asexual populations of Antennaria parlinii (Asteraceae)

The results suggest that divergent selective pressures in different habitats have produced two distinct reproductive strategies in A. parlinii, a dioecious species that exhibits wide variation in sexuality at the population level.

Species and Evolution in Asexually Reproducing Independent Fern Gametophytes

Despite this long period of reliance on vegetative reproduction, genetic diversity in the Appalachian Vittaria gametophytes remains comparable to that of sexual plants, although it is largely partitioned into monomorphic populations.