Article Addendum: The paradox of clonality and the evolution of self-incompatibility


Vallejo-Marin M (2007) Article Addendum: The paradox of clonality and the evolution of self-incompatibility. Plant Signaling and Behavior, 2 (4), pp. 265-266.;

In the January issue of New Phytologist Vallejo-Marín and O’Brien documented that in the genus Solanum (Solanaceae) clonality and self-incompatibility, a common genetic mechanism enforcing cross-fertilization, co-occur more often than expected by chance. Using a phylogenetic approach the authors showed that the statistical association between clonality and self-incompatibility persists even after taking into account phylogenetic relationships among species, uncertainty in the phylogenetic reconstruction, and associations between clonality and life history (annual/perennial). Vallejo-Marín and O’Brien suggest that clonality and self-incompatibility tend to co-occur because clonality, by allowing the persistence and propagation of a genotype in environments with limited pollinator or mate availability, reduces the selective pressure favoring the breakdown of self-incompatibility. In addition to promoting the maintenance of self-incompatibility, when clonality results in the spatial aggregation of genetically identical individuals, clonality may promote its breakdown by restricting pollen transfer between different genotypes. Here I call attention to these contradictory predictions of the effects of clonality on the evolution of self-incompatibility, and suggest that the outcome of this paradox depend on both the extent to which clonal propagation compensates for limited seed production, and on the extent to which clonality reduces pollen transfer between genotypes.

asexual reproduction; clonality; mating system; pollen limitation; reproductive assurance; reproductive compensation; Solanum

Plant Signaling and Behavior: Volume 2, Issue 4

Publication date31/07/2007
PublisherLandes Bioscience
Publisher URL