Journal Article

Recent advances in the study of gynodioecy: the interface of theory and empiricism

David E. McCauley and Maia F. Bailey

in Annals of Botany

Published on behalf of The Annals of Botany Company

Volume 104, issue 4, pages 611-620
Published in print September 2009 | ISSN: 0305-7364
Published online June 2009 | e-ISSN: 1095-8290 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/aob/mcp141
Recent advances in the study of gynodioecy: the interface of theory and empiricism

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Background

In this review we report on recent literature concerned with studies of gynodioecy, or the co-occurrence of female and hermaphrodite individuals in natural plant populations. Rather than review this literature in its entirety, our focus is on the interplay between theoretical and empirical approaches to the study of gynodioecy.

Scope

Five areas of active inquiry are considered. These are the cost of restoration, the influence of population structure on spatial sex-ratio variation, the influence of inbreeding on sex expression, the signature of cyto-nuclear coevolution on the mitochondrial genome, and the consequences of mitochondrial paternal leakage.

Conclusions

Recent advances in the study of gynodioecy have been made by considering both the ecology of female:hermaphrodite fitness differences and the genetics of sex expression. Indeed theory has guided empiricism and empiricism has guided theory. Future advances will require that some of the methods currently available only for model organisms be applied to a wider range of species.

Keywords: Breeding system; gynodioecy; cytoplasmic male sterility; restoration; sex ratio; inbreeding; population structure; genetic conflict

Journal Article.  8484 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Ecology and Conservation ; Evolutionary Biology ; Plant Sciences and Forestry

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