Inbreeding depression in Lychnis flos-cuculi (Caryophyllaceae): effects of different levels of inbreeding

Authors

  • Thure P. Hauser,

    1. Dept. of Ecology and Genetics, University of Aarhus, Ny Munkegade Bygn. 540, DK-8000 Århus, Denmark
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    • *

      Current address: Plant Genetics Section, Risø National Laboratory; DK-4000 Roskilde, Denmark.

  • Volker Loeschcke

    1. Dept. of Ecology and Genetics, University of Aarhus, Ny Munkegade Bygn. 540, DK-8000 Århus, Denmark
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Abstract

In a controlled crossing experiment on Lychnis flos-cuculi plants in the greenhouse, outbred and selfed maternal plants were each treated with pollen from unrelated plants, siblings and selves. The seeds thus obtained had expected inbreeding coefficients of 0, 0.25 and 0.5 for the outbred maternal plants, and 0, 0.5 and 0.75 for the selfed maternal plants. Seed abortion rate, seed weight and germination rate were estimated. Seedlings were transplanted to an outdoor garden, and monitored for survival, probability of flowering, number of capsules and area of capsules next spring. Inbred seeds germinated slower and in lower proportions than those less inbred, and seedlings had lower survival, flowering, fruit set and area of capsules if inbred.

Combined fitness values were estimated from the survival and fecundity components, and severe inbreeding depression was detected for these estimates (0.51 and 0.56 for one generation of selfing). The fitness function decreased linearly with the increase in inbreeding coefficient, which is as expected if the inbreeding depression is additive among loci.

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