Pseudo-self-compatibility in Centaurea cyanus L

Abstract : Agricultural intensification has resulted in drastic regression of several arable land-dependent weeds. This decrease, along with reduced pollinator abundance, could lead to population-level extinction of self-incompatible species. Alternatively, it could drive adaptation to self-compatibility through selection on standing genetic variation. We investigated whether pseudo-self-compatible (PSC) or self-compatible (SC) plants are present in populations of the rarified weed Centaurea cyanus in the species’ extreme western distribution limits in Europe. We compared seed production of isolated plants and of pairs of plants in cages with or without pollinators. We showed that pollinators are necessary for self-fertilization. The majority of plants were self-incompatible (SI), but about 12% were PSC, and one was SC. Reproductive traits of PSC plants were not different from those of other plants. There was no difference between plants from two regions that differed in C. cyanus abundance. We conclude that the genetic variation necessary to transition to selfing is present in C. cyanus; this could help to maintain endangered populations, but the transition to selfing does not appear to have happened in nature yet.
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Journal articles
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Solène Bellanger, Jean-Philippe Guillemin, Henri Darmency. Pseudo-self-compatibility in Centaurea cyanus L. Flora, Elsevier, 2014, 209 (7), pp. 325 - 331. ⟨10.1016/j.flora.2014.04.002⟩. ⟨hal-01780386⟩

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