MATE AVAILABILITY IN SMALL POPULATIONS OF PLANT-SPECIES WITH HOMOMORPHIC SPOROPHYTIC SELF-INCOMPATIBILITY

D L BYERS, T R MEAGHER

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

189 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Plants of a self-incompatible species, which occur in small populations, may have reduced fitness due to the limited availability of compatible mates. Self-incompatibility diseases inbreeding by allowing successful mating to occur only with individuals which differ by at least one-allele at the S-locus. A computer simulation model was developed to test the effect of small population size upon the diversity and the relative frequency of the S-alleles which determine the number of available mates. In a large population at equilibrium, the greater the number of S-alleles the greater the frequency of available mates for all individuals in the population. In small populations (less than 50 individuals), they are unable to maintain a high diversity of S-alleles and therefore there is a decrease in the frequency of available mates. In addition, in small populations there is an increase in the variance of available mates. The number of mates in these populations depends on the genotype of a particular individual. Two patterns would be expected in a small population of incompatible species: (1) a lower seed set per individual due to limited mates, and (2) an increase in variation of seed set among individuals due to the variance in available mates. Lower seed set would lead to a decrease in fitness of particular genotypes and could increase the possibility of local extinction of the species.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)353-359
Number of pages7
JournalHeredity
Volume68
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1992

Keywords

  • ALLELIC DIVERSITY
  • BREEDING SYSTEMS
  • RARE SPECIES
  • SELF-INCOMPATIBILITY
  • SMALL POPULATIONS
  • GENETIC-VARIATION
  • OENOTHERA
  • SYSTEM

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