THE EFFECT OF POLYPLOIDY AND MATING SYSTEM ON FLORAL SIZE AND THE POLLINATION NICHE IN BRASSICACEAE

Nathália Susin Streher, Trezalka Budinsky, Keren Halabi, Itay Mayrose, Tia Lynn Ashman*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Premise of research. Polyploidy, a major evolutionary process in flowering plants, is expected to impact floral traits, which can have cascading effects on pollination interactions, but this may depend on selfing propensity. In a novel use of herbarium specimens, we assessed the effects of polyploidy and mating system on floral traits and the pol-lination niche of 40 Brassicaceae species. Methodology. We combined data on mating system (self-compatible or self-incompatible) with inferred ploidy level (polyploid or diploid) and used phylogenetically controlled analyses to investigate their influence on floral traits (size and shape) and the degree of pollination generalism based on the frequency and the richness of heterospecific pollen morphospecies captured by stigmas. Pivotal results. Flower size (but not shape) depended on the interaction between ploidy and mating system. Self-incompatible polyploid species had larger flowers than self-incompatible diploids, but there was no difference for self-compatible species. The breadth of pollination niche (degree of generalism) was not affected by ploidy but was rather strongly affected by mating system only. Self-incompatible species had more stigmas with heterospecific pollen and higher heterospecific pollen morphospecies richness per stigma than self-compatible species, regardless of their ploidy. Conclusions. Our results demonstrate that mating system moderated the influence of ploidy on morpholog-ical features associated with pollination generalism but that response in terms of heterospecific pollen captured as a proxy of pollination generalism was more variable.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)89-99
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Plant Sciences
Volume185
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2024

Funding

FundersFunder number
Carnegie Museum of Natural History, New York Botanical Garden
Na-tional Science Foundation
US National Herbarium
National Science FoundationDEB-2027604
Florida Museum of Natural History
United States-Israel Binational Science FoundationBSF 2020625
Israel Science Foundation1843/21

    Keywords

    • floral phenotype
    • herbarium specimens
    • heterospecific pollen
    • pollination generalization
    • self-incompatibility
    • whole-genome duplication

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