Mattila TM, Laenen B, Slotte T
Methods in molecular biology (Clifton, N.J.) 2090 (-) 269-287 [2020-01-25; online 2020-01-25]
Many plants harbor complex mechanisms that promote outcrossing and efficient pollen transfer. These include floral adaptations as well as genetic mechanisms, such as molecular self-incompatibility (SI) systems. The maintenance of such systems over long evolutionary timescales suggests that outcrossing is favorable over a broad range of conditions. Conversely, SI has repeatedly been lost, often in association with transitions to self-fertilization (selfing). This transition is favored when the short-term advantages of selfing outweigh the costs, primarily inbreeding depression. The transition to selfing is expected to have major effects on population genetic variation and adaptive potential, as well as on genome evolution. In the Brassicaceae, many studies on the population genetic, gene regulatory, and genomic effects of selfing have centered on the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana and the crucifer genus Capsella. The accumulation of population genomics datasets have allowed detailed investigation of where, when and how the transition to selfing occurred. Future studies will take advantage of the development of population genetics theory on the impact of selfing, especially regarding positive selection. Furthermore, investigation of systems including recent transitions to selfing, mixed mating populations and/or multiple independent replicates of the same transition will facilitate dissecting the effects of mating system variation from processes driven by demography.