Within/between population crosses reveal genetic basis for siring success in Silene latifolia (Caryophyllaceae)

J Evol Biol. 2007 Jul;20(4):1361-74. doi: 10.1111/j.1420-9101.2007.01344.x.


Divergence at reproductive traits can generate barriers among populations, and may result from several mechanisms, including drift, local selection and co-adaptation between the sexes. Intersexual co-adaptation can arise through sexually antagonistic co-evolution, a timely hypothesis addressed in animals but, to our knowledge, not yet in flowering plants. We investigated whether male and female population of origin affected pollen competition success, offspring fitness and sex ratio in crosses within/between six genetically differentiated populations of the white campion, Silene latifolia. Each female was crossed with pollen from one focus male from the same population, and pollen from two focus males from two distinct populations, both as single-donor and two-donor crosses against a fixed tester male with a 2-h interpollination interval (n = 288 crosses). We analysed paternity with microsatellite DNA. Male populations of origin significantly differed for siring success and in vitro pollen germination rates. In vitro pollen germination rate was heritable. Siring success also depended on sex ratio in the female family of origin, but only in between-population crosses. In some female populations, two-donor crosses produced less female-biased sex ratios compared with single-donor crosses, yet in other female populations the reverse was true. Offspring sex ratio varied with donor number, depending on the female population. Within/between population crosses did not differ significantly in seed set or offspring fitness, nor were siring success and offspring fitness significantly correlated. Altogether this suggests reproductive divergence for traits affecting pollen competition in S. latifolia.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Crosses, Genetic
  • Flowers / genetics
  • Genetics, Population
  • Germination
  • Pollen / genetics
  • Seeds / genetics
  • Silene / genetics*