The long and the short of it: long-styled florets are associated with higher outcrossing rate in Senecio vulgaris and result from delayed selfpollen germination

Judith Irwin, Paul Ashton, Francois Bretagnolle, Richard Abbott

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Citations (Scopus)
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Abstract

Background: It has been reported that some plants of the self-compatible species Senecio vulgaris produce capitula containing long-styled florets which fail to set seed when left to self-pollinate, although readily set seed when self-pollinated by hand. Aims: To determine if production of long-styled florets is associated with higher outcrossing rate in S. vulgaris, and whether long-styles occur in non-pollinated florets, whereas short-styles are present in self-pollinated florets. Methods: The frequency of long-styled florets was compared in the radiate and non-radiate variants of S. vulgaris, known to exhibit higher and lower outcrossing rates, respectively. In addition, style length was compared in emasculated florets that were either self-pollinated or left non-pollinated. Results: Long-styled florets were more frequent in the higher outcrossing radiate variant. Following emasculation, long styles occurred in non-pollinated florets, while short styles were present in self-pollinated florets. The two variants did not differ in style length within the non-pollinated or within the self-pollinated floret categories. Conclusions: A high frequency of long-styled florets is associated with higher outcrossing rate in S. vulgaris and results from delayed self-pollination and pollen germination on stigmas.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)159-165
JournalPlant Ecology and Diversity
Volume9
Issue number2
Early online date25 May 2016
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 25 May 2016

Keywords

  • Asteraceae
  • outcrossing rate
  • pollination
  • pollen germination
  • ray and disc florets
  • selfing
  • Senecio
  • style length

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