Distyly and incompatibility inVillarsia congestiflora (Menyanthaceae), with comparative remarks onV. capitata
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The Western Australian annual of restricted distribution,Villarsia congestiflora, has distylous flowers and pollen-size heteromorphism. Results of a crossing program indicate that this species is strongly self-incompatible, that crosses among individuals of the same morph produce little or no seed, and that intermorph crosses produce copious seed. The species shares a number of morphological and ecological traits withV. capitata, another distylous, self-incompatible annual species of Western Australia with a greater area of distribution. Artificial hybrids between the two, however, showed reduced pollen stainability. Both species combine a number of specialized morphological features with a breeding system that is primitive for the familyMenyanthaceae.
Key wordsAngiosperms Menyanthaceae Villarsia Distyly incompatibility seed set
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