Article: article from journal or magazin.
Variation in the intensity of inbreeding depression among successive life-cycle stages and generations in gynodioecious Silene vulgaris (Caryophyllaceae).
Journal of Evolutionary Biology
Inbreeding depression is one of the hypotheses explaining the maintenance of females within gynodioecious plant populations. However, the measurement of fitness components in selfed and outcrossed progeny depends on life-cycle stage and the history of inbreeding. Comparative data indicate that strong inbreeding depression is more likely to occur at later life-cycle stages. We used hermaphrodite individuals of Silene vulgaris originating from three populations located in different valleys in the Swiss Alps to investigate the effect of two generations of self- and cross-fertilization on fitness components among successive stages of the life cycle in a glasshouse experiment. We detected significant inbreeding depression for most life-cycle stages including: the number of viable and aborted seeds per fruit, probability of germination, above ground biomass, probability of flowering, number of flowers per plant, flower size and pollen viability. Overall, the intensity of inbreeding depression increased among successive stages of the life cycle and cumulative inbreeding depression was significantly stronger in the first generation (delta approximately 0.5) compared with the second generation (delta approximately 0.35). We found no evidence for synergistic epistasis in our experiment. Our finding of more intense inbreeding depression during later stages of the life cycle may help to explain the maintenance of females in gynodioecious populations of S. vulgaris because purging of genetic load is less likely to occur.
Crosses, Genetic, Epistasis, Genetic, Inbreeding, Silene/genetics, Silene/growth & development
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