Self-Incompatibility and Male Fertilization Success in Phillyrea angustifolia (Oleaceae)

Int J Plant Sci. 2000 May;161(3):393-402. doi: 10.1086/314263.


Androdioecy is a rare breeding system in which low male frequency is expected in populations because males require a strong increase in their fertility to be maintained by selection. Phillyrea angustifolia L. has previously been reported as possibly functionally androdioecious. However, 1&rcolon;1 sex ratios have been reported and suggest functional dioecy. In this article, we compared both pollen tube growth and siring success of male and hermaphrodite pollen in two single-donor pollination experiments. We verified at both pre- and postzygotic levels that hermaphrodites produce functional pollen. Self-incompatibility was also clearly established. However, pollen from hermaphrodites was less efficient than male pollen. The probability of a pollen tube growing through the style was higher for male than for hermaphrodite pollen donors, and males sired twice as many fruits as hermaphrodites. The twofold male advantage in relative fecundity was mainly because of lower pollen fertility of hermaphrodites and possible cross-incompatibility among hermaphrodites.