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The Absence of Cryptic Self-Incompatibility in Clarkia unguiculata (Onagraceae)

Steven E. Travers and Susan J. Mazer
American Journal of Botany
Vol. 87, No. 2 (Feb., 2000), pp. 191-196
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2656905
Page Count: 6
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The Absence of Cryptic Self-Incompatibility in Clarkia unguiculata (Onagraceae)
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Abstract

Many species exhibit reduced siring success of self-relative to outcross-pollen donors. This can be attributed either to postfertilization abortion of selfed ovules or to cryptic self-incompatibility (CSI). CSI is a form of self-incompatibility whereby the advantage to outcross pollen is expressed only following pollinations where there is gametophytic competition between self and outcross pollen. Under the definition of CSI, this differential success is due to the superior prefertilization performance (pollen germination rate and pollen tube growth rate) of outcross pollen relative to self pollen. Although CSI has been demonstrated in several plant species, no studies have assessed among-population variation in the expression of CSI. We conducted a greenhouse study on Clarkia unguiculata (an annual species with a mixed-mating system) to detect CSI, and we compare our observations to previous reports of CSI in C. gracilis and another population of C. unguiculata. In contrast to these previous studies of CSI in Clarkia, we used genetic rather than phenotypic markers to measure the relative performance of selfed vs. outcross pollen. In this study, we measured the intensity of CSI in C. unguiculata from a large population in southern California and we determined whether the magnitude of pollen competition (manipulated by controlling the number of pollen grains deposited on a stigma) influenced the outcome of competition between self and outcross pollen. In contrast to previous investigations of Clarkia, we found no evidence for CSI. The mean number of seeds sired per fruit did not differ between self and outcross pollen following either single-donor or mixed pollinations. In addition, the relative success of selfed vs. outcross pollen was independent of the magnitude of pollen competition. These results suggest that: (1) one of the few nonheterostylous species previously thought to be cryptically self-incompatible is completely self-compatible (at least in the population studied here) or (2) phenotypic markers may be problematic for the detection of CSI.

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