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A Self-Incompatibility System Explains High Male Frequencies in an Androdioecious Plant

Pierre Saumitou-Laprade, Philippe Vernet, Christine Vassiliadis, Yves Hoareau, Guillaume de Magny, Bertrand Dommée and Jacques Lepart
Science
New Series, Vol. 327, No. 5973 (Mar. 26, 2010), pp. 1648-1650
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/40544436
Page Count: 3
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A Self-Incompatibility System Explains High Male Frequencies in an Androdioecious Plant
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Abstract

Androdioecy is a sexual system in which males co-occur with hermaphrodites, which have both male and female function. Stable androdioecy is rare in nature, and theory suggests that it requires that males sire more than twice as many offspring as hermaphrodites. In several members of the olive family (Oleaceae), androdioecy occurs with higher frequencies of males than predicted by theory. In Phillyrea angusti/olio L, we found that high male frequencies can be maintained in natural populations because hermaphrodites belong exclusively to one of two self-incompatibility groups, and thus, each can fertilize only half of all pollen recipients. In contrast, males can pollinate all hermaphrodites. Thus, in this species, the reproductive disadvantage that males face due to the loss of female function is offset by the fact that all males are fully compatible with all pollen recipients.

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