Historically, dichogamy (the temporal separation of gender in flowering plants) has been interpreted as a mechanism for avoiding inbreeding. However, a comparative survey found that many dichogamous species are self-incompatible (SI), suggesting dichogamy evolved for other reasons, particularly reducing interference between male and female function. Here we re-examined the association between dichogamy and SI in a phylogenetic framework, and tested the hypothesis that dichogamy evolved to reduce interference between male and female function. Using paired comparisons and maximum-likelihood correlation analyses, we find that protandry (male function first) is positively correlated with the presence of SI and protogyny (female function first) with self-compatibility (SC). In addition, estimates of transition-rate parameters suggest strong selection for the evolution of SC in protogynous taxa and a constraint against transitions from protandry to protogyny in SC taxa. We interpret these results as support for protandry evolving to reduce interference and protogyny to reduce inbreeding.
Correlated evolution of dichogamy and self-incompatibility-- a phylogenetic perspective
Matthew Routley · 2006/01/04 · 1 minute read