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Divergent Mating Systems And Parental Conflict As A Barrier To Hybridization In Flowering Plants

Date:
August 15, 2005
Source:
University of Chicago Press Journals
Summary:
A new study in the September issue of The American Naturalist argues that with increased self-fertilization, parental conflict decreases. Consequently, parents from frequently selfing groups should be competitively inferior with respect to this parental conflict.

Sexual reproduction can be thought of as a cooperative process in whichtwo individuals come together to produce a new individual. It can alsobe viewed as a process in which two parties with differing interests,investment, and background interact to produce a new individual. Fromthe former perspective, parental interests are unified (both wish toproduce vigorous offspring), while the latter suggests possibleconflict. This conflict can occur before or after fertilization. Beforefertilization, the mother has an interest in picking the best suitedfather from a larger pool, while all fathers have an interest in beingpicked. After fertilization, fathers have an interest in maximizingmaternal investment in their progeny, while mothers will have aninterest in carefully partitioning resources among progeny to maximizetheir combined success.

A new study in the September issue of The American Naturalist arguesthat with increased self-fertilization, parental conflict decreases.Consequently, parents from frequently selfing groups should becompetitively inferior with respect to this parental conflict. YanivBrandvain and David Haig examine crosses between selfing andoutcrossing pairs and find that, in most cases, there are pre- andpost-zygotic symptoms of outcrossers being "stronger" than selfers withregard to parental conflict. They contend that this competitiveimbalance can explain a common pattern of unilateral incompatibility,in which pollen from self-incompatible populations can successfullyfertilize ovules of self-compatible individuals, but the reciprocalcross fails. Since both pre- and post-zygotic consequences of thisimbalanced conflict can perturb successful fertilization anddevelopment, they provide barriers to hybridization and may facilitatespeciation.

###

Sponsored by the AmericanSociety of Naturalists, The American Naturalist is a leading journal inthe fields of ecology and evolutionary biology and animal behavior. Formore information, please see our website: www.journals.uchicago.edu/AN

Yaniv Brandvain and David Haig, "Divergent mating systems andparental conflict as a barrier to hybridization in flowering plants"166:3 September 2005.


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The above story is based on materials provided by University of Chicago Press Journals. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Chicago Press Journals. "Divergent Mating Systems And Parental Conflict As A Barrier To Hybridization In Flowering Plants." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 August 2005. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/08/050814164038.htm>.
University of Chicago Press Journals. (2005, August 15). Divergent Mating Systems And Parental Conflict As A Barrier To Hybridization In Flowering Plants. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 2, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/08/050814164038.htm
University of Chicago Press Journals. "Divergent Mating Systems And Parental Conflict As A Barrier To Hybridization In Flowering Plants." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/08/050814164038.htm (accessed September 2, 2014).

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