The evolutionary breakdown of distyly inLinum tenuifolium (Linaceae)
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- Nicholls, M.S. Pl Syst Evol (1985) 150: 291. doi:10.1007/BF00984203
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Distyly inLinum tenuifolium L. is associated with a high degree of self-incompatibility. Breakdown in this system has occurred without the morphological rearrangement expected as the result of cross-over within the distyly supergene. Pollen-flow in both distylous and monomorphic populations is leptokurtic. A high proportion of intra-flower pollination occurs. Pollen production per ovule is reduced in the self-compatible race. Mean seed-set is increased. Individuals of the self-compatible race produce less vegetative growth and require a shorter time to reach reproductive maturity under cultivation. Increased fecundity appears to provide the selective advantage promoting the breakdown of self-incompatibility in this species. This is achieved through a massive shift of resources toward female reproductive function in plants of the monomorphic race. Subsequent colonization by this race has led to its increased distribution in C. & S. Europe.