Faculté des sciences

Effects of inbred/outbred crosses on progeny sex ratio in Silene latifolia (Caryophyllaceae)

Teixeira, Sara ; Bernasconi, Giorgina

In: New Phytologist, 2008, vol. 178, no. 2, p. 448-456

• Sex ratio polymorphism has been extensively studied in Silene latifolia, but it is neither known whether inbreeding (which is likely to occur under field conditions) affects it, nor which of the proposed mechanisms (Y degeneration, X-linked drive) is more important. Both mechanisms predict reduced pollen performance. • In this study, females were crossed with pollen from related... Plus

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    Summary
    • Sex ratio polymorphism has been extensively studied in Silene latifolia, but it is neither known whether inbreeding (which is likely to occur under field conditions) affects it, nor which of the proposed mechanisms (Y degeneration, X-linked drive) is more important. Both mechanisms predict reduced pollen performance.
    • In this study, females were crossed with pollen from related and unrelated males in single-donor and two-donor crosses, and the sex ratio of offspring (n = 866, 60 crosses), sons'in vitro pollen germination and sex ratios in parental families were scored.
    • Flowers receiving only unrelated pollen produced a significant excess of sons. Sex ratios were not significantly correlated between generations. Sons'in vitro pollen germination was significantly negatively correlated with the 'sex-ratio phenotype' of maternal grandfathers, but not of fathers. This generation leap may be consistent with X-linked determinants because Y-linked determinants alone cannot explain it (grandfathers, fathers and sons share the same Y chromosome).
    • Further work is required, but inbreeding and limited dispersal may lead to local accumulation of biasing factors, a process potentially countered by conditional shifts to produce more sons in pure outbred crosses.