On the Evolutionary Modification of Self-Incompatibility: Implications of Partial Clonality for Allelic Diversity and Genealogical Structure
Experimental investigations of homomorphic self-incompatibility (SI) have revealed an unanticipated level of complexity in its expression, permitting fine regulation over the course of a lifetime or a range of environmental conditions. Many flowering plants express some level of clonal reproduction, and phylogenetic analyses suggest that clonality evolves in a correlated fashion with SI in Solanum (Solanaceae). Here, we use a diffusion approximation to explore the effects on the evolutionary dynamics of SI of vegetative propagation with SI restricted to reproduction through seed. While clonality reduces the strength of frequency-dependent selection maintaining S-allele diversity, much of the great depth typical of S-allele genealogies is preserved. Our results suggest that clonality can play an important role in the evolution of SI systems, and may afford insight into unexplained features of allele genealogies in the Solanaceae.
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