Chloroplast capture, the introgression of a chloroplast from one species into another, has been frequently suggested as the explanation for inconsistencies between gene trees based on nuclear and cytoplasmic markers in plants. We use a genetic model to determine the conditions for capture to occur, and we find that they are somewhat more general than those given in earlier verbal arguments. Chloroplast capture can occur if cytoplasm substitution provides an advantage in seed production. This can happen through reallocation to the female function when cytonuclear incompatibilities cause partial male sterility, but also under more general conditions. Capture is promoted by nuclear incompatibilities between the two genomes (or a low heterosis in F1 hybrids) and by partial selfing when hybridization causes a decrease in the selfing rate and inbreeding depression is strong. We discuss empirical predictions that can be used to test this mechanism.
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Vol. 57 • No. 8