Spores from three bryophyte species with dwarf males (Homalothecium lutescens, Homalothecium sericeum and Isothecium alopecuroides) were sown on shoots of H. lutescens in vitro. After 10 months, presence and fertility of dwarf plants were scored. Spores of the more distantly related I. alopecuroides were unable to develop into dwarf plants on H. lutescens. Spores of both H. lutescens and H. sericeum developed into dwarf plants. In fact, dwarf plants of H. sericeum were both more abundant and more often fertile than those of H. lutescens. The ability of H. sericeum spores to develop into dwarf males on shoots of H. lutescens suggests a possible pathway for hybridization between the two species. On the other hand, the inability of I. alopecuroides to develop into dwarf males on shoots of H. lutescens suggests that regulation of spore germination and dwarf male development on host shoots is associated with the degree of relatedness between species.
Genetic variation and sexual reproduction in a moss with dwarf males, Homalothecium lutescens
Hybridization as evolutionary driving force in bryophytes