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High paternal diversity in the self-incompatible herb Arabidopsis halleri despite clonal reproduction and spatially restricted pollen dispersal

Authors

  • V. LLAURENS,

    1. Université des Sciences et Technologies de Lille 1, Laboratoire de Génétique et Evolution des Populations Végétales, CNRS UMR 8016, Bat. SN2, F-59655 Villeneuve d’Ascq Cedex, France,
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  • V. CASTRIC,

    1. Université des Sciences et Technologies de Lille 1, Laboratoire de Génétique et Evolution des Populations Végétales, CNRS UMR 8016, Bat. SN2, F-59655 Villeneuve d’Ascq Cedex, France,
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  • F. AUSTERLITZ,

    1. CNRS, Laboratoire Ecologie Systématique et Evolution, UMR 8079, Orsay, F-91405; Université Paris-Sud, Orsay, F-91405; AgroParisTech, Paris, F-75231, France
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  • X. VEKEMANS

    1. Université des Sciences et Technologies de Lille 1, Laboratoire de Génétique et Evolution des Populations Végétales, CNRS UMR 8016, Bat. SN2, F-59655 Villeneuve d’Ascq Cedex, France,
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Xavier Vekemans, Fax: + 33 320 43 6979; E-mail: xavier.vekemans@univ-lille1.fr

Abstract

The number of sires fertilizing a given dam is a key parameter of the mating system in species with spatially restricted offspring dispersal, since genetic relatedness among maternal sibs determines the intensity of sib competition. In flowering plants, the extent of multiple paternity is determined by factors such as floral biology, properties of the pollen vector, selfing rate, spatial organization of the population, and genetic compatibility between neighbours. To assess the extent of multiple paternity and identify ecological factors involved, we performed a detailed study of mating patterns in a small population of a self-incompatible clonal herb, Arabidopsis halleri. We mapped and genotyped 364 individuals and 256 of their offspring at 12 microsatellite loci and jointly analysed the level of multiple paternity, pollen and seed dispersal, and spatial genetic structure. We found very low levels of correlated paternity among sibs (Pfull-sib = 3.8%) indicating high multiple paternity. Our estimate of the outcrossing rate was 98.7%, suggesting functional self-incompatibility. The pollen dispersal distribution was significantly restricted (mean effective pollen dispersal distance: 4.42 m) but long-distance successful pollination occurred and immigrating pollen was at most 10% of all pollination events. Patterns of genetic structure indicated little extent of clonal reproduction, and a low but significant spatial genetic structure typical for a self-incompatible species. Overall, in spite of restricted pollen dispersal, the multiple paternity in this self-incompatible species was very high, a result that we interpret as a consequence of high plant density and high pollinator service in this population.

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