, Volume 74, Issue 1, pp 68-76

Pollination thoroughness and maternal yield regulation in wild radish, Raphanus raphanistrum (Brassicaceae)

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Summary

Under conditions where resources are limited, there are often negative correlations between components of maternal yield, or between fruit and flower production. Pollination, in turn, may vary among individuals and influence total maternal expenditure. We examined the impact of variation in pollination thoroughness upon yield components and overall plant growth in wild radish (R. raphanistrum) plants grown in the greenhouse. Plants received different pollination treatments in which 0% to 100% of all flowers produced were hand-pollinated. Fruit set was increased by hand-pollination, but rarely exceeded 30%, even when more than 50% of the flowers were pollinated. Plants receiving more thorough pollination or having greater proportion fruit set produced significantly smaller seeds. Seed number per fruit was not influenced by pollination treatment. Mean values of yield components and interactions between components often varied among plants from different maternal families. Increasing pollination thoroughness also resulted in dramatic decreases in flower production. If male fitness is related to flower number, there may be a tradeoff between maternal fecundity and successful pollen export operating at the whole-plant level in this species.