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Experimental evidence for frequency dependent self-fertilization in the gynodioecious plant, Silene vulgaris.

Authors
Type
Published Article
Journal
Evolution
0014-3820
Publisher
Wiley Blackwell (Blackwell Publishing)
Publication Date
Volume
63
Issue
6
Pages
1644–1652
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1111/j.1558-5646.2009.00646.x
PMID: 19187245
Source
Medline

Abstract

After over a half century of empirical and theoretical research regarding the evolution and maintenance of gynodioecy in plants, unexplored factors influencing the relative fitnesses of females and hermaphrodites remain. Theoretical studies suggest that hermaphrodite self-fertilization (selfing) rate influences the maintenance of gynodioecy and we hypothesized that population sex ratio may influence hermaphrodite selfing rate. An experimental test for frequency-dependent self-fertilization was conducted using replicated populations constructed with different sex ratios of the gynodioecious plant Silene vulgaris. We found that hermaphrodite selfing increased with decreased hermaphrodite frequency, whereas evidence for increased inbreeding depression was equivocal. We argue that incorporation of context dependent inbreeding into future models of the evolution of gynodioecy is likely to yield novel insights into sex ratio evolution.

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