Sexual differences in reproductive characters in gynodioecious Plantago coronopus

H.P. Koelewijn

    Research output: Contribution to journal/periodicalArticleScientificpeer-review


    In a series of field, garden and greenhouse experiments, the factors contributing to the maintenance of male steriles in natural populations of the gynodioecious species Plantago coronopus were examined. No differences in survival between sex phenotypes (hermaphrodites, partially male steriles and male steriles) were observed. Male steriles produced more (41% to 148%) and heavier (12% to 22%) seeds than hermaphrodites. Partially male steriles were intermediate in seed production between hermaphrodites and male steriles. The observed differences between sex types are interpreted as pleiotropic effects of male sterility genes. Reproductive variation within the group of hermaphrodites was further studied in relation to the cytoplasmic background of the plants used by means of reciprocal crosses. Hermaphrodites having cytoplasmic type 1 produced about 15% less spikes than their hermaphroditic relatives having cytoplasmic type 2. This result, in combination with genetic studies with the same plants, is interpreted as evidence for the cost of restoration. [KEYWORDS: Cytoplasmic male-sterility; lanceolata l; seed size; maintenance; evolution; selection; hermaphrodites; polymorphism; inheritance; genetics]
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)443-452
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 1996




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