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Abstract Detail

Evolutionary Developmental Biology (Evo-Devo)

Diggle, Pamela K. [1], Miller, Jill S. [2].

Correlated Evolution of Fruit Size and Sexual Expression in Andromonoecious Solanum Sections Acanthophora and Lasiocarpa (Solanaceae).

Andromonoecy is hypothesized to evolve as a mechanism enabling plants to independently allocate resources to female and male function. If staminate flower production is a mechanism to regulate allocation to female function (i.e., fruit production), then large-fruited species should be more strongly andromonoecious compared to smaller-fruited taxa since more resources are required to mature large fruit. We combined phylogenetically independent contrast analyses with extensive phenotypic characterization under common greenhouse conditions to examine the predicted relationship between fruit weight and the strength of andromonoecy among thirteen species in Solanum sections Acanthophora and Lasiocarpa. We find that the strength of andromonoecy, defined as the proportion of staminate flowers produced within inflorescences, is significantly and positively associated with fruit weight in both naïve and phylogenetically independent analyses. Our results are consistent with the hypothesis that andromonoecy functions as a mechanism to regulate allocation to female function and suggest that the strength of andromonoecy is also associated with resource limitation. In general, we find that strong andromonoecy appears to arise via reductions in hermaphroditic flower number. However, increases in staminate flowers have also contributed to transitions to strong andromonoecy in certain species. Finally, our analyses identify a suite of correlated characters (flower size, ovary width, fruit weight) that are associated with changes in the sexual expression of andromonoecy.

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1 - University of Colorado, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, UCB 334, Boulder, Colorado, 80309, USA
2 - Amherst College, Department of Biology, Mcguire Life Sciences Building, Amherst, Massachusetts, 01002, USA

fruit size
flower size
independent contrasts
sexual system

Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for Topics
Session: CP46
Location: Astoria Room/Hilton
Date: Wednesday, July 11th, 2007
Time: 9:15 AM
Number: CP46004
Abstract ID:1156

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