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Mating System and Genetic Structure of the Distylous Tropical Tree Psychotria faxlucens (Rubiaceae)

Nidia Perez-Nasser, Luis E. Eguiarte and Daniel Pinero
American Journal of Botany
Vol. 80, No. 1 (Jan., 1993), pp. 45-52
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2445119
Page Count: 8
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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.
Mating System and Genetic Structure of the Distylous Tropical Tree Psychotria faxlucens (Rubiaceae)
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Abstract

The population genetics and mating system of the understory tropical rain forest tree Psychotria faxlucens were studied at two plots in Los Tuxtlas, Veracruz, Mexico, on the Gulf of Mexico coast. This species is distylous and is pollinated by moths, mainly small hawkmoths. The seeds are dispersed by gravity and by frugivorous birds. Controlled pollinations indicate that the trees are self-incompatible and that intramorph pollinations have lower compatibilities than intermorph pollinations. The pollen: ovule ratio is high, suggesting obligate xenogamy. Using electrophoretic allozyme methods we found that eight out of 20 loci were polymorphic (P = 0.400), the observed heterozygosity (H) was 0.198, and the mean expected heterozygosity (H) was 0.495, both relatively high values compared with that reported for tropical trees. The genetic differentiation between the two plots is low, as shown by the heterogeneity in allele frequencies and the Fst (mean Fst seedlings = 0.031, mean Fst adults = 0.026), although for some loci the plot differentiation is statistically significant. The studied populations are near Hardy-Weinberg proportions, both for seedlings (mean F = 0.128) and adults (mean F = 0.075). From the fixation rate, an indirect estimate of the outcrossing rate at equilibrium gave a mean of t = 0.898 for plot 1 and 0.685 for plot 2. Direct single loci and multiloci outcrossing rate estimates were generally not statistically different from 1.0.

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