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Lifetime Estimates of Biparental Inbreeding Depression in the Self- Incompatible Annual Plant Raphanus sativus

John D. Nason and Norman C. Ellstrand
Evolution
Vol. 49, No. 2 (Apr., 1995), pp. 307-316
DOI: 10.2307/2410341
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2410341
Page Count: 10
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Abstract

Studies of inbreeding depression in plant populations have focused primarily on comparisons of selfing versus outcrossing in self-compatible species. Here we examine the effect of five naturally occuring levels of inbreeding (f ranging from 0 to 0.25 by pedigree) on components of lifetime fitness in a field population of the self-incompatible annual, Raphanus sativus. Pre- and postgermination survival and reproductive success were examined for offspring resulting from compatible cross-pollinations. Multiple linear regression of inbreeding level on rates of fruit and seed abortion as well as seed weight and total seed weight per fruit were not significant. Inbreeding level was not found to affect seed germination, offspring survival in the field, date of first flowering, or plant biomass (dry weight minus fruit). The effect of inbreeding on seedling viability in the greenhouse and viability to flowering was significant but small and inconsistently correlated with inbreeding level. Maternal fecundity, however, a measure of seed yield, was reduced almost 60% in offspring from full-sib crosses (f = 0.25) relative to offspring resulting from experimental outcross pollinations (f = 0). Water availability, a form of physiological stress, affected plant biomass but did not affect maternal fecundity, nor did it interact with inbreeding level to influence these characters. The delayed expression of strong inbreeding depression suggests that highly deleterious recessive alleles were not a primary cause of fitness loss with inbreeding. Highly deleterious recessives may have been purged by bottlenecks in population size associated with the introduction of Raphanus and its recent range expansions. In general, reductions in total relative fitness of greater than 50% associated with full-sib crosses should be sufficient to prohibit the evolution of self-compatibility via transmission advantage in Raphanus.

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