The maintenance of a gynodioecious breeding system (hermaphrodites and male-steriles) was studied in Plantago lanceolata. Cytoplasmic-nuclear inheritance is important in the maintenance of male-steriles. The male-sterile trait is cytoplasmically based (CMS), and male fertility can be restored by nuclear genes. Male-sterile frequencies differ among populations. Several hypotheses can be considered. (1) In each population a different equilibrium could be optimal because of environmentally dependent fitnesses. (2) None of the populations has reached an equilibrium (yet). (3) The populations are in different phases of a dynamic equilibrium, i.e. limit cycles. The last two explanations both predict a dynamic process, a continuous change within populations. Sex phenotype frequencies and their underlying gene frequencies were assessed. Sex phenotype frequencies changed over years within populations. We showed that these changes resulted from changes in genotype composition, which favours the two hypotheses (2 and 3) that predict a dynamic process. CMS-type frequencies were estimated using mtDNA markers. Among populations, CMS types differed in frequencies. CMSI and CMSIII seemed to exclude each other, and CMSII types occurred in all populations. In all populations, CMSI appeared to be less restored than the other CMS types. This was not expected on the basis of either of the two theoretical models that included dynamics (hypotheses 2 and 3). [KEYWORDS: cytoplasmic male sterility; dynamic equilibrium; gynodioecy male sterility; Plantago Thymus-vulgaris l; mitochondrial-dna; populations; evolution; coronopus; dioecy]
Original languageEnglish
Journal publication date1997

ID: 290261