Data_Sheet_3_The Mating System of the Wild-to-Domesticated Complex of Gossypium hirsutum L. Is Mixed.docx

The domestication syndrome of many plants includes changes in their mating systems. The evolution of the latter is shaped by ecological and genetic factors that are particular to an area. Thus, the reproductive biology of wild relatives must be studied in their natural distribution to understand the mating system of a crop species as a whole. Gossypium hirsutum (upland cotton) includes both domesticated varieties and wild populations of the same species. Most studies on mating systems describe cultivated cotton as self-pollinated, while studies on pollen dispersal report outcrossing; however, the mating system of upland cotton has not been described as mixed and little is known about its wild relatives. In this study we selected two wild metapopulations for comparison with domesticated plants and one metapopulation with evidence of recent gene flow between wild relatives and the crop to evaluate the mating system of cotton’s wild-to-domesticated complex. Using classic reproductive biology methods, our data demonstrate that upland cotton presents a mixed mating system throughout the complex. Given cotton’s capacity for outcrossing, differences caused by the domestication process in cultivated individuals can have consequences for its wild relatives. This characterization of the diversity of the wild relatives in their natural distribution, as well as their interactions with the crop, will be useful to design and implement adequate strategies for conservation and biosecurity.