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Sex-allocation trade-offs in Nigella sativa (Ranunculaceae) examined with flower manipulation experiments

Andersson, Stefan LU (2003) In Evolutionary Ecology 17(2). p.125-138
Abstract
Sex-allocation trade-offs have long been invoked as a primary factor underlying the evolution of separate sexes and the reduction of pollen production accompanying the evolution of selfing. In the present study, I conducted stamen and style removal experiments to explore the existence of such trade-offs in Nigella sativa, a hermaphroditic plant species whose flower structure allows early manipulation of both male and female function. Plants on which all stamens were removed at the bud stage had a higher rate of flower initiation and produced significantly heavier seeds than did plants whose flowers remained intact, apparently by using resources that were released when the stamens were removed. However, there was no effect of stamen removal... (More)
Sex-allocation trade-offs have long been invoked as a primary factor underlying the evolution of separate sexes and the reduction of pollen production accompanying the evolution of selfing. In the present study, I conducted stamen and style removal experiments to explore the existence of such trade-offs in Nigella sativa, a hermaphroditic plant species whose flower structure allows early manipulation of both male and female function. Plants on which all stamens were removed at the bud stage had a higher rate of flower initiation and produced significantly heavier seeds than did plants whose flowers remained intact, apparently by using resources that were released when the stamens were removed. However, there was no effect of stamen removal on the number of flowers that reached anthesis, the total biomass allocated to seed production, or the vigour of plants in the progeny generation. In contrast, prevention of fruit production ( style removal) increased the amount of biomass invested in stamen by 57% relative to plants whose flowers were allowed to set fruit. These observations verify the existence of a sexual trade-off in N. sativa but also raise the possibility that stamen-suppressing mutations sometimes lack the pleiotropic consequences of increasing female function, at least in species with large, expensive fruits. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
in
Evolutionary Ecology
volume
17
issue
2
pages
125 - 138
publisher
Springer
external identifiers
  • wos:000182005500002
  • scopus:0038670622
ISSN
1573-8477
DOI
10.1023/A:1023028211164
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
28272c05-3067-462f-ae86-598a2cf16e0a (old id 137667)
date added to LUP
2007-07-02 07:53:24
date last changed
2018-05-29 12:23:34
@article{28272c05-3067-462f-ae86-598a2cf16e0a,
  abstract     = {Sex-allocation trade-offs have long been invoked as a primary factor underlying the evolution of separate sexes and the reduction of pollen production accompanying the evolution of selfing. In the present study, I conducted stamen and style removal experiments to explore the existence of such trade-offs in Nigella sativa, a hermaphroditic plant species whose flower structure allows early manipulation of both male and female function. Plants on which all stamens were removed at the bud stage had a higher rate of flower initiation and produced significantly heavier seeds than did plants whose flowers remained intact, apparently by using resources that were released when the stamens were removed. However, there was no effect of stamen removal on the number of flowers that reached anthesis, the total biomass allocated to seed production, or the vigour of plants in the progeny generation. In contrast, prevention of fruit production ( style removal) increased the amount of biomass invested in stamen by 57% relative to plants whose flowers were allowed to set fruit. These observations verify the existence of a sexual trade-off in N. sativa but also raise the possibility that stamen-suppressing mutations sometimes lack the pleiotropic consequences of increasing female function, at least in species with large, expensive fruits.},
  author       = {Andersson, Stefan},
  issn         = {1573-8477},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {2},
  pages        = {125--138},
  publisher    = {Springer},
  series       = {Evolutionary Ecology},
  title        = {Sex-allocation trade-offs in Nigella sativa (Ranunculaceae) examined with flower manipulation experiments},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1023/A:1023028211164},
  volume       = {17},
  year         = {2003},
}