De novo sequence assembly and characterization of the floral transcriptome in cross- and self-fertilizing plants
The shift from cross-fertilization to predominant self-fertilization is among the most common evolutionary transitions in the reproductive biology of flowering plants. Increased inbreeding has important consequences for floral morphology, population genetic structure and genome evolution. The transition to selfing is usually characterized by a marked reduction in flower size and the loss of traits involved in pollinator attraction and the avoidance of self-fertilization. Here, we use short-read sequencing to assemble, de novo, the floral transcriptomes of three genotypes of Eichhornia paniculata, including an outcrosser and two genotypes from independently derived selfers, and a single genotype of the sister species E. paradoxa. By sequencing mRNA from tissues sampled at various stages of flower development, our goal was to sequence and assemble the floral transcriptome and identify differential patterns of gene expression.
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