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The Impact of a Flower-Color Polymorphism on Mating Patterns in Experimental Populations of Wild Radish (Raphanus raphanistrum L.)

Maureen L. Stanton, Allison A. Snow, Steven N. Handel and Judith Bereczky
Evolution
Vol. 43, No. 2 (Mar., 1989), pp. 335-346
DOI: 10.2307/2409211
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2409211
Page Count: 12
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
The Impact of a Flower-Color Polymorphism on Mating Patterns in Experimental Populations of Wild Radish (Raphanus raphanistrum L.)
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Abstract

We conducted field experiments to determine how a naturally occurring petal-color polymorphism influences mating patterns in wild radish (Raphanus raphanistrum). The polymorphism is controlled at a single genetic locus, with white petal color being completely dominant to yellow. In experimental populations with equal numbers of yellow- and white-flowered homozygous individuals, insect visitors strongly discriminated against white flowers. Pieris rapae, the most frequent pollinator, was almost 50% more likely to visit yellow than white flowers. Maternal fecundity did not differ between the morphs and was not significantly influenced by a plant's compatibility with potential donors, suggesting that seed production was not limited by receipt of compatible pollen. In contrast, the yellow-flowered morph sired approximately 75% of all seeds produced during the study. This paternity proportion was consistently greater than that expected on the basis of postpollination compatibility measures and was indistinguishable from that expected on the basis of pollinator-visitation frequency. We conclude that the male-fitness advantage of the yellow morph resulted from enhanced pollen export due to the greater attractiveness of its flowers to insect pollinators. With color morphs evenly distributed in experimental arrays, insects did not move assortatively on the basis of petal color, and we found no evidence for assortative pollen flow due to the floral polymorphism. Once postpollination compatibility relationships within populations were taken into account, paternal success of yellow donors did not differ between yellow- and white-flowered maternal plants.

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