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Real-time evolution supports a unique trajectory for generalized pollination


Schiestl, Florian P; Balmer, Alice; Gervasi, Daniel D (2018). Real-time evolution supports a unique trajectory for generalized pollination. Evolution, 72(12):2653-2668.

Abstract

Whereas specialized pollination is well recognized to cause floral adaptation, we know little about the evolutionary impact of generalized pollination. For example, it is largely unknown whether such pollination can lead to adaptive floral divergence and to what degree pollinators with different effectiveness determine evolutionary trajectories. Here we investigated the evolutionary consequences of combined bumblebee‐ and hoverfly‐pollination (“generalized” pollination) in comparison with those of each individual pollinator species (specialized pollination), using fast‐cycling Brassica rapa plants during seven generations of experimental evolution. Bumblebees were twice as efficient as hoverflies in pollinating B. rapa flowers, but phenotypic selection and evolutionary change in plants with generalized pollination was different from both bumblebee‐ and hoverfly‐pollinated plants for several traits. After seven generations evolution, plants with generalized pollination resembled bumblebee‐pollinated plants in having little spontaneous selfing and tall size, but were more similar to hoverfly‐pollinated plants in having low floral scent emission. This unique trait combination supports the idea of a generalized‐pollination ecotype, coined neither by the most efficient pollinator, nor by an evolutionary average between the changes caused by each individual pollinator. For a better understanding of such “non‐additive evolution”, future research should target interactions of pollinators and their effect on phenotypic selection.

Abstract

Whereas specialized pollination is well recognized to cause floral adaptation, we know little about the evolutionary impact of generalized pollination. For example, it is largely unknown whether such pollination can lead to adaptive floral divergence and to what degree pollinators with different effectiveness determine evolutionary trajectories. Here we investigated the evolutionary consequences of combined bumblebee‐ and hoverfly‐pollination (“generalized” pollination) in comparison with those of each individual pollinator species (specialized pollination), using fast‐cycling Brassica rapa plants during seven generations of experimental evolution. Bumblebees were twice as efficient as hoverflies in pollinating B. rapa flowers, but phenotypic selection and evolutionary change in plants with generalized pollination was different from both bumblebee‐ and hoverfly‐pollinated plants for several traits. After seven generations evolution, plants with generalized pollination resembled bumblebee‐pollinated plants in having little spontaneous selfing and tall size, but were more similar to hoverfly‐pollinated plants in having low floral scent emission. This unique trait combination supports the idea of a generalized‐pollination ecotype, coined neither by the most efficient pollinator, nor by an evolutionary average between the changes caused by each individual pollinator. For a better understanding of such “non‐additive evolution”, future research should target interactions of pollinators and their effect on phenotypic selection.

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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
07 Faculty of Science > Zurich-Basel Plant Science Center
Dewey Decimal Classification:580 Plants (Botany)
Scopus Subject Areas:Life Sciences > Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
Life Sciences > Genetics
Life Sciences > General Agricultural and Biological Sciences
Uncontrolled Keywords:Genetics, Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics, General Agricultural and Biological Sciences
Language:English
Date:1 December 2018
Deposited On:02 Oct 2018 13:03
Last Modified:29 Jul 2020 07:48
Publisher:Wiley-Blackwell Publishing, Inc.
ISSN:0014-3820
OA Status:Green
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1111/evo.13611
PubMed ID:30257033

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