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Self-discrimination in the Tendrils of the Vine Cayratia Japonica Is Mediated by Physiological Connection

Self-discrimination in the Tendrils of the Vine Cayratia Japonica Is Mediated by Physiological Connection

Yuya Fukano et al. Proc Biol Sci.

Abstract

Although self-discrimination has been well documented, especially in animals, self-discrimination in plants has been identified in only a few cases, such as self-incompatibility in flowers and root discrimination. Here, were port a new form of self-discrimination in plants: discrimination by vine tendrils. We found that tendrils of the perennial vine Cayratia japonica were more likely to coil around neighbouring non-self plants than neighbouring self plants in both experimental and natural settings. The higher level of coiling around a physiologically severed self plant compared with that around a physiologically connected self plant suggested that self-discrimination was mediated by physiological coordination between the tendril and the touched plant as reported for self-discrimination in roots. The results highlight the importance of self-discrimination for plant competition not only underground,but also above-ground.

Figures

Figure 1.
Figure 1.
Diagram of the six types of neighbouring plants (STEM, RHIZOME, SEVERED, INTRA-SITE, INTER-SITE and INTER-POPULATION) in the touch experiment with transplanted C. japonica.
Figure 2.
Figure 2.
Degree of tendril coiling in transplanted C. japonica that touched self plants (connected via stems or roots, or separated), non-self plants collected from the same site (INTRA-SITE), different sites within the same population (INTER-SITE) or different populations (INTER-POPULATION), or a bamboo stick after (a) 1 h, (b) 5 h and (c) 23 h from the start of the experiment. Proportions of completely coiled (black), coiled (grey), slightly coiled (dotted) and uncoiled (white) tendrils are shown. Asterisks indicate statistically significant differences (p < 0.05; see electronic supplementary material, table S1).
Figure 3.
Figure 3.
Degree of tendril coiling in field-grown C. japonica that touched leaves collected from the same plant (self), conspecific plants (non-self) or S. canadensis (other) after (a) 2 h, (b) 4 h and (c) 8 h from the start of the experiment. Proportions of uncoiled (white), moderately coiled (grey) and completely coiled (black) tendrils are shown. Asterisks indicate statistically significant differences (p < 0.05; see electronic supplementary material, table S2).

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