Hybridization is a key process in plant speciation. Despite its importance, there is no detailed study of hybridization rates in fern populations. A proper estimate of hybridization rates is needed to understand factors regulating hybridization.
We studied hybridization in the European Dryopteris carthusiana group, represented by one diploid and two tetraploid species and their hybrids. We sampled ~100 individuals per population in 40 mixed populations of the D. carthusiana group across Europe. All plants were identified by measuring genome size (DAPI staining) using flow cytometry. To determine the maternal parentage of hybrids, we sequenced the chloroplast region trnL–trnF of all taxa involved.
We found hybrids in 85% of populations. Triploid D. ×ambroseae occurred in every population that included both parent species and is most abundant when the parent species are equally abundant. By contrast, tetraploid D. ×deweveri was rare (15 individuals total) and triploid D. ×sarvelae was absent. The parentage of hybrid taxa is asymmetric. Despite expectations from previous studies, tetraploid D. dilatata is the predominant male parent of its triploid hybrid.
This is a thorough investigation of hybridization rates in natural populations of ferns. Hybridization rates differ greatly even among closely related fern taxa. In contrast to angiosperms, our data suggest that hybridization rates are highest in balanced parent populations and support the notion that some ferns possess very weak barriers to hybridization. Our results from sequencing cpDNA challenge established notions about the correlation of ploidy level and mating tendencies.
Background: Immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICI) are standard of care in patients with metastatic urothelial carcinoma (mUC) ineligible for cisplatin, and as second-line therapy after platinum-based chemotherapy. To date, few data exist about the efficacy of the former second-line chemotherapeutic agent vinflunine after the failure of sequential platinum-based chemotherapy and ICI treatment. The aim of this analysis was to examine the efficacy of vinflunine in a post-ICI third- or later-line setting. Methods: In this retrospective German multicenter study, data of mUC patients treated with vinflunine were reviewed in six centers between February 2010 and December 2021. All of the 105 included patients had radiologic progression after first-line platinum-based chemotherapy. The objective was to describe the efficacy of vinflunine in terms of overall response rate (ORR), clinical benefit rate (CBR), overall survival (OS), and progression-free survival (PFS) for post-ICI and ICI-naïve patients, respectively. Results: In our cohort, 61 patients (58.1%) had preceding immunotherapy before vinflunine administration, and 44 patients (41.9%) were ICI-naïve. Patients with ICI pretreatment showed an ORR of 22.4% compared to 15.6% within ICI-naïve patients (p = 0.451), and CBR was 51.0% vs. 25.0% (p = 0.020), respectively. Post-ICI patients showed longer OS (8.78 vs. 5.72 months; p = 0.467) and longer PFS (3.09 vs. 2.14 months; p = 0.105). Conclusion: This analysis supports the sequential use of vinflunine in post-ICI patients since the vinca-alkaloid retains a measurable clinical activity in these heavily pretreated patients. The therapeutic benefit may be higher than demonstrated in previous studies.
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