Journal Article

The impact of extensive clonal growth on fine-scale mating patterns: a full paternity analysis of a lily-of-the-valley population (<i>Convallaria majalis</i>)

Katrien Vandepitte, Tim De Meyer, Hans Jacquemyn, Isabel Roldán-Ruiz and Olivier Honnay

in Annals of Botany

Published on behalf of The Annals of Botany Company

Volume 111, issue 4, pages 623-628
Published in print April 2013 | ISSN: 0305-7364
Published online February 2013 | e-ISSN: 1095-8290 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/aob/mct024
The impact of extensive clonal growth on fine-scale mating patterns: a full paternity analysis of a lily-of-the-valley population (Convallaria majalis)

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Background and Aims

The combination of clonality and a mating system promoting outcrossing is considered advantageous because outcrossing avoids the fitness costs of selfing within clones (geitonogamy) while clonality assures local persistence and increases floral display. The spatial spread of genetically identical plants (ramets) may, however, also decrease paternal diversity (the number of sires fertilizing a given dam) and fertility, particularly towards the centre of large clumped clones. This study aimed to quantify the impact of extensive clonal growth on fine-scale paternity patterns in a population of the allogamous Convallaria majalis.

Methods

A full analysis of paternity was performed by genotyping all flowering individuals and all viable seeds produced during a single season using AFLP. Mating patterns were examined and the spatial position of ramets was related to the extent of multiple paternity, fruiting success and seed production.

Key Results

The overall outcrossing rate was high (91 %) and pollen flow into the population was considerable (27 %). Despite extensive clonal growth, multiple paternity was relatively common (the fraction of siblings sharing the same father was 0·53 within ramets). The diversity of offspring collected from reproductive ramets surrounded by genetically identical inflorescences was as high as among offspring collected from ramets surrounded by distinct genets. There was no significant relationship between the similarity of the pollen load received by two ramets and the distance between them. Neither the distance of ramets with respect to distinct genets nor the distance to the genet centre significantly affected fruiting success or seed production.

Conclusions

Random mating and considerable pollen inflow most probably implied that pollen dispersal distances were sufficiently high to mitigate local mate scarcity despite extensive clonal spread. The data provide no evidence for the intrusion of clonal growth on fine-scale plant mating patterns.

Keywords: Paternity analysis; mate diversity; outcrossing; mating opportunities; AFLP; reproductive success; seed set; ramet; lily-of-the-valley; Convallaria majalis

Journal Article.  4163 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Plant Reproduction and Propagation

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