Citation Vallejo-Marin M & O’Brien HE (2007) Correlated evolution of self-incompatibility and clonal reproduction in Solanum (Solanaceae). New Phytologist, 173 (2), pp. 415-421. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1469-8137.2006.01924.x
Abstract • It has been suggested that clonality provides reproductive assurance in cross-fertilizing species subject to pollen limitation, relieving one of the main selective pressures favoring the evolution of self-fertilization. According to this hypothesis, cross-fertilizing species subject to pollen limitation should often be clonal. Here, we investigated the association between clonality and a genetic mechanism enforcing outcrossing, self-incompatibility, in Solanum (Solanaceae).
• We collected self-incompatibility and clonality information on 87 species, and looked for an association between these two traits. To account for the contribution of shared evolutionary history to this association, we incorporated phylogenetic information from chloroplast (NADH dehydrogenase subunit F) sequence data.
• We found that self-incompatibility is strongly associated with clonal reproduction: all self-incompatible species reproduce clonally, while the absence of clonality is widespread among self-compatible taxa. The observed correlation persists after taking into account shared phylogenetic history, assumptions about the evolutionary history of self-incompatibility, uncertainty associated with phylogeny estimation, and associations with life history (annual/perennial).
• Our results are consistent with the hypothesis that clonality provides reproductive assurance, and suggest that the consequences of clonal growth in the evolution of plant reproductive strategies may be more significant than previously thought.