Plant Systematics and Evolution

, Volume 132, Issue 4, pp 327–332 | Cite as

Evolution of male sterility mechanisms in gynodioecious and dioecious species ofCirsium (Cynareae, Compositae)

  • Xavier Delannay


The genusCirsium comprises both gynodioecious and dioecious species. The observation of microsporogenesis in female plants ofC. montanum, C. oleraceum, C. palustre andC. spinosissimum shows that the male sterility is due to a degeneration of the tapetum. This degeneration occurs more or less early according to the species and, in the light of these results, a scheme of evolution in the male sterility mechanism is proposed. Furthermore, the male sterility mechanism inC. montanum is very similar to that previously found in female plants of the dioecious speciesC. arvense. This fact enhances the possibility of evolution of the dioecy ofC. arvense from the gynodioecy found in other species. According to these results, a general scheme of evolution of sexes in the genusCirsium is proposed.

Key words

Compositae Cynareae Cirsium Gynodioecy subdioecy dioecy male sterility sex evolution 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Correns, C., 1916: Untersuchungen über Geschlechtsbestimmung bei Distelarten. — Sitz. Kgl. Preuss. Akad. Wiss.20, 448–477.Google Scholar
  2. Delannay, X., 1977: Cytological study of dioecy inCirsium arvense. — Phytomorphology27, 419–425.Google Scholar
  3. —, 1978a: La gynodioécie dans le genreCirsium Miller. — Bull. Soc. Roy. Bot. Belg.111, 10–18.Google Scholar
  4. —, 1978b: La gynodioécie chez les Angiosperms. — Natur. Belges59, 223–237.Google Scholar
  5. Lewis, D., 1941: Male sterility in natural populations of hermaphrodite plants. — New Phytol.40, 56–63.Google Scholar
  6. Lloyd, D. G., 1974: Theoretical sex ratios of dioecious and gynodioecious Angiosperms. — Heredity32, 11–34.Google Scholar
  7. —, 1975: The maintenance of gynodioecy and androdioecy in Angiosperms. — Genetica45, 325–339.Google Scholar
  8. —, 1976: Sexual dimorphism inCirsium arvense (L.)Scop. — Ann. Bot.40, 115–123.Google Scholar
  9. Petrak, F., 1917: Die nordamerikanischen Arten der GattungCirsium. — Beih. Bot. Centr.II 35, 223–567.Google Scholar
  10. Poddubnaya-Arnoldi, V., 1931: Ein Versuch der Anwendung der embryologischen Methode bei der Lösung einiger systematischer Fragen. I. Vergleichende embryologisch-zytologische Untersuchungen über die GruppeCynareae, Fam.Compositae. — Beih. Bot. Centr.48 (2), 141–237; 545–550.Google Scholar
  11. Ross, M. D., Shaw, R. F., 1971: Maintenance of male sterility in plant populations. — Heredity26, 1–8.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1979

Authors and Affiliations

  • Xavier Delannay
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratoire de CytogénétiqueUniversité de LouvainLouvain-la-NeuveBelgium

Personalised recommendations