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Small and ugly? Phylogenetic analyses of the "selfing syndrome" reveal complex evolutionary fates of monomorphic primrose flowers


De Vos, Jurriaan M; Wüest, Rafael O; Conti, Elena (2014). Small and ugly? Phylogenetic analyses of the "selfing syndrome" reveal complex evolutionary fates of monomorphic primrose flowers. Evolution, 68(4):1042-1057.

Abstract

One of the most common trends in plant evolution, loss of self-incompatibility and ensuing increases in selfing, is generally assumed to be associated with a suite of phenotypic changes, notably a reduction of floral size, termed the selfing syndrome. We investigate whether floral morphological traits indeed decrease in a deterministic fashion after losses of self-incompatibility, as traditionally expected, using a phylogeny of 124 primrose species containing nine independent transitions from heterostyly (heteromorphic incompatibility) to homostyly (monomorphic self-compatibility), a classic system for evolution of selfing. We find similar overall variability of homostylous and heterostylous species, except for diminished herkogamy in homostyles. Bayesian mixed models demonstrate differences between homostylous and heterostylous species in all traits, but net effects across species are small (except herkogamy) and directionality differs among traits. Strongly drift-like evolutionary trajectories of corolla tube length and corolla diameter inferred by Ornstein-Uhlenbeck models contrast with expected deterministic trajectories toward small floral size. Lineage-specific population genetic effects associated with evolution of selfing may explain that reductions of floral size represent one of several possible outcomes of floral evolution after loss of heterostyly in primroses. Contrary to the traditional paradigm, selfing syndromes may, but do not necessarily evolve in response to increased selfing.

Abstract

One of the most common trends in plant evolution, loss of self-incompatibility and ensuing increases in selfing, is generally assumed to be associated with a suite of phenotypic changes, notably a reduction of floral size, termed the selfing syndrome. We investigate whether floral morphological traits indeed decrease in a deterministic fashion after losses of self-incompatibility, as traditionally expected, using a phylogeny of 124 primrose species containing nine independent transitions from heterostyly (heteromorphic incompatibility) to homostyly (monomorphic self-compatibility), a classic system for evolution of selfing. We find similar overall variability of homostylous and heterostylous species, except for diminished herkogamy in homostyles. Bayesian mixed models demonstrate differences between homostylous and heterostylous species in all traits, but net effects across species are small (except herkogamy) and directionality differs among traits. Strongly drift-like evolutionary trajectories of corolla tube length and corolla diameter inferred by Ornstein-Uhlenbeck models contrast with expected deterministic trajectories toward small floral size. Lineage-specific population genetic effects associated with evolution of selfing may explain that reductions of floral size represent one of several possible outcomes of floral evolution after loss of heterostyly in primroses. Contrary to the traditional paradigm, selfing syndromes may, but do not necessarily evolve in response to increased selfing.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Department of Systematic and Evolutionary Botany
Dewey Decimal Classification:580 Plants (Botany)
Language:English
Date:2014
Deposited On:11 Feb 2014 14:03
Last Modified:07 Dec 2017 08:12
Publisher:Wiley-Blackwell
ISSN:0014-3820
Additional Information:Author Posting. © The Authors 2014. This is the author's version of the work. It is posted here for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Evolution, Epub ahead of print. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/evo.12331.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1111/evo.12331
PubMed ID:24325205

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