Genetic Mapping and Phylogenetic Analysis Reveal Intraspecific Variation in Sex Chromosomes of the Virginian Strawberry

Na Wei, Rajanikanth Govindarajulu, Jacob A. Tennessen, Aaron Liston, Tia Lynn Ashman, Melissa Wilson Sayres

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


With their extraordinary diversity in sexual systems, flowering plants offer unparalleled opportunities to understand sex determination and to reveal generalities in the evolution of sex chromosomes. Comparative genetic mapping of related taxa with good phylogenetic resolution can delineate the extent of sex chromosome diversity within plant groups, and lead the way to understanding the evolutionary drivers of such diversity. The North American octoploid wild strawberries provide such an opportunity. We performed linkage mapping using targeted sequence capture for the subdioecious western Fragaria virginiana ssp. platypetala and compared the location of its sexdetermining region (SDR) to those of 2 other (sub)dioecious species, the eastern subspecies, F. virginiana ssp. virginiana (whose SDR is at 0-5.5 Mb on chromosome VI of the B2 subgenome), and the sister species F. chiloensis (whose SDR is at 37 Mb on chromosome VI of the Av subgenome). Male sterility was dominant in F. virginiana ssp. platypetala and mapped to a chromosome also in homeologous group VI. Likewise, one major quantitative trait locus (QTL) for female fertility overlapped the male sterility region. However, the SDR mapped to yet another subgenome (B1), and to a different location (13 Mb), but similar to the location inferred in one population of the naturally occurring hybrid between F. chiloensis and F. virginiana (F. ×ananassa ssp. cuneifolia). Phylogenetic analysis of chromosomes across the octoploid taxa showed consistent subgenomic composition reflecting shared evolutionary history but also reinforced within-species variation in the SDR-carrying chromosome, suggesting either repeated evolution, or recent turnovers in SDR.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)731-739
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Heredity
Issue number7
StatePublished - Oct 1 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Dioecy
  • Fragaria
  • Sex determination
  • Targeted sequence capture
  • ZW sexual system

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Genetics(clinical)


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