Genus Silene (Caryophyllaceae) – evolutionary diversification and sex chromosome formation.
The genus Silene has become an emerging model systém for plant ecology, evolution and development. This text summarizes namely the progress of the main topics studied in this genus – sex determination in gynodioecious and dioecious plants, sex chromosome evolution on DNA sequence level, and mechanisms controlling sex bias in populations. The most studied dioecious species is S. latifolia, characterized by sex chromosomes of relatively recent origin (~ 10 million years). The order of the genes on the S. latifolia X-chromosome and divergence between the homologous X- and Y-linked copies of these genes support the evolutionary strata model, with at least three consecutive expansions of the nonrecombining region on the Y-chromosome in this plant species.