The impact of self-incompatibility systems on the prevention of biparental inbreeding.
ABSTRACT: Inbreeding in hermaphroditic plants can occur through two different mechanisms: biparental inbreeding, when a plant mates with a related individual, or self-fertilization, when a plant mates with itself. To avoid inbreeding, many hermaphroditic plants have evolved self-incompatibility (SI) systems which prevent or limit self-fertilization. One particular SI system-homomorphic SI-can also reduce biparental inbreeding. Homomorphic SI is found in many angiosperm species, and it is often assumed that the additional benefit of reduced biparental inbreeding may be a factor in the success of this SI system. To test this assumption, we developed a spatially-explicit, individual-based simulation of plant populations that displayed three different types of homomorphic SI. We measured the total level of inbreeding avoidance by comparing each population to a self-compatible population (NSI), and we measured biparental inbreeding avoidance by comparing to a population of self-incompatible plants that were free to mate with any other individual (PSI). Because biparental inbreeding is more common when offspring dispersal is limited, we examined the levels of biparental inbreeding over a range of dispersal distances. We also tested whether the introduction of inbreeding depression affected the level of biparental inbreeding avoidance. We found that there was a statistically significant decrease in autozygosity in each of the homomorphic SI populations compared to the PSI population and, as expected, this was more pronounced when seed and pollen dispersal was limited. However, levels of homozygosity and inbreeding depression were not reduced. At low dispersal, homomorphic SI populations also suffered reduced female fecundity and had smaller census population sizes. Overall, our simulations showed that the homomorphic SI systems had little impact on the amount of biparental inbreeding in the population especially when compared to the overall reduction in inbreeding compared to the NSI population. With further study, this observation may have important consequences for research into the origin and evolution of homomorphic self-incompatibility systems.
Project description:Gynodioecy, the co-occurrence of female and hermaphroditic individuals within a population, is an important intermediate in the evolution of separate sexes. The first step, female maintenance, requires females to have higher seed fitness compared with hermaphrodites. A common mechanism thought to increase relative female fitness is inbreeding depression avoidance, the magnitude of which depends on hermaphroditic selfing rates and the strength of inbreeding depression. Less well studied is the effect of biparental inbreeding on female fitness. Biparental inbreeding can affect relative female fitness only if its consequence or frequency differs between sexes, which could occur if sex structure and genetic structure both occur within populations. To determine whether inbreeding avoidance and/or biparental inbreeding can account for female persistence in Geranium maculatum, we measured selfing and biparental inbreeding rates in four populations and the spatial genetic structure in six populations. Selfing rates of hermaphrodites were low and did not differ significantly from zero in any population, leading to females gaining at most a 1-14% increase in seed fitness from inbreeding avoidance. Additionally, although significant spatial genetic structure was found in all populations, biparental inbreeding rates were low and only differed between sexes in one population, thereby having little influence on female fitness. A review of the literature revealed few sexual differences in biparental inbreeding among other gynodioecious species. Our results show that mating system differences may not fully account for female maintenance in this species, suggesting other mechanisms may be involved.
Project description:Kin associations increase the potential for inbreeding. The potential for inbreeding does not, however, make inbreeding inevitable. Numerous factors influence whether inbreeding preference, avoidance, or tolerance evolves, and, in hermaphrodites where both self-fertilization and biparental inbreeding are possible, it remains particularly difficult to predict how selection acts on the overall inbreeding strategy, and to distinguish the type of inbreeding when making inferences from genetic markers. Therefore, we undertook an empirical analysis on an understudied type of mating system (spermcast mating in the marine bryozoan, Bugula neritina) that provides numerous opportunities for inbreeding preference, avoidance, and tolerance. We created experimental crosses, containing three generations from two populations to estimate how parental reproductive success varies across parental relatedness, ranging from self, siblings, and nonsiblings from within the same population. We found that the production of viable selfed offspring was extremely rare (only one colony produced three selfed offspring) and biparental inbreeding more common. Paternity analysis using 16 microsatellite markers confirmed outcrossing. The production of juveniles was lower for sib mating compared with nonsib mating. We found little evidence for consistent inbreeding, in terms of nonrandom mating, in adult samples collected from three populations, using multiple population genetic inferences. Our results suggest several testable hypotheses that potentially explain the overall mating and dispersal strategy in this species, including early inbreeding depression, inbreeding avoidance through cryptic mate choice, and differential dispersal distances of sperm and larvae.
Project description:High inbreeding depression is thought to be one of the major factors preventing evolutionary transitions in hermaphroditic plants from self-incompatibility (SI) and outcrossing toward self-compatibility (SC) and selfing. However, when selfing does evolve, inbreeding depression can be quickly purged, allowing the evolution of complete self-fertilization. In contrast, populations that show intermediate selfing rates (a mixed-mating system) typically show levels of inbreeding depression similar to those in outcrossing species, suggesting that selection against inbreeding might be responsible for preventing the transition toward complete self-fertilization. By implication, crosses among populations should reveal patterns of heterosis for mixed-mating populations that are similar to those expected for outcrossing populations. Using hand-pollination crosses, we compared levels of inbreeding depression and heterosis between populations of Linaria cavanillesii (Plantaginaceae), a perennial herb showing contrasting mating systems. The SI population showed high inbreeding depression, whereas the SC population displaying mixed mating showed no inbreeding depression. In contrast, we found that heterosis based on between-population crosses was similar for SI and SC populations. Our results are consistent with the rapid purging of inbreeding depression in the derived SC population, despite the persistence of mixed mating. However, the maintenance of outcrossing after a transition to SC is inconsistent with the prediction that populations that have purged their inbreeding depression should evolve toward complete selfing, suggesting that the transition to SC in L. cavanillesii has been recent. SC in L. cavanillesii thus exemplifies a situation in which the mating system is likely not at an equilibrium with inbreeding depression.
Project description:Dispersal and mating features strongly influence the evolutionary dynamics and the spatial genetic structure (SGS) of marine populations. For the first time in a marine invertebrate, we examined individual reproductive success, by conducting larval paternity assignments after a natural spawning event, combined with a small-scale SGS analysis within a population of the gorgonian Paramuricea clavata. Thirty four percent of the larvae were sired by male colonies surrounding the brooding female colonies, revealing that the bulk of the mating was accomplished by males from outside the studied area. Male success increased with male height and decreased with increasing male to female distance. The parentage analyses, with a strong level of self-recruitment (25%), unveiled the occurrence of a complex family structure at a small spatial scale, consistent with the limited larval dispersal of this species. However, no evidence of small scale SGS was revealed despite this family structure. Furthermore, temporal genetic structure was not observed, which appears to be related to the rather large effective population size. The low level of inbreeding found suggests a pattern of random mating in this species, which disagrees with expectations that limited larval dispersal should lead to biparental inbreeding. Surface brooding and investment in sexual reproduction in P. clavata contribute to multiple paternity (on average 6.4 fathers were assigned per brood), which enhance genetic diversity of the brood. Several factors may have contributed to the lack of biparental inbreeding in our study such as (i) the lack of sperm limitation at a small scale, (ii) multiple paternity, and (iii) the large effective population size. Thus, our results indicate that limited larval dispersal and complex family structure do not necessarily lead to biparental inbreeding and SGS. In the framework of conservation purposes, our results suggested that colony size, proximity among colonies and the population size should be taken into consideration for restoration projects.
Project description:Movement of individuals influences individual reproductive success, fitness, genetic diversity and relationships among individuals within populations and gene exchange among populations. Competition between males or females for mating opportunities and/or local resources predicts a female bias in taxa with monogamous mating systems and a male-biased dispersal in polygynous species. In birds and mammals, the patterns of dispersal between sexes are well explored, while dispersal patterns in protandrous hermaphroditic fish species have not been studied. We collected 549 adult individuals of Asian seabass (Lates calcarifer) from four locations in the South China Sea. To assess the difference in patterns of dispersal between sexes, we genotyped all individuals with 18 microsatellites. Significant genetic differentiation was detected among and within sampling locations. The parameters of population structure (F(ST)), relatedness (r) and the mean assignment index (mAIC), in combination with data on tagging-recapture, supplied strong evidences for female-biased dispersal in the Asian seabass. This result contradicts our initial hypothesis of no sex difference in dispersal. We suggest that inbreeding avoidance of females, female mate choice under the condition of low mate competition among males, and male resource competition create a female-biased dispersal. The bigger body size of females may be a cause of the female-biased movement. Studies of dispersal using data from DNA markers and tagging-recapture in hermaphroditic fish species could enhance our understanding of patterns of dispersal in fish.
Project description:Inbreeding depression is a major evolutionary and ecological force influencing population dynamics and the evolution of inbreeding-avoidance traits such as mating systems and dispersal. Mating systems and dispersal are fundamental determinants of population genetic structure. Resolving the relationships among genetic structure, seasonal breeding-related mating systems and dispersal will facilitate our understanding of the evolution of inbreeding avoidance. The goals of this study were as follows: (i) to determine whether females actively avoided mating with relatives in a group-living rodent species, Brandt's voles (Lasiopodomys brandtii), by combined analysis of their mating system, dispersal and genetic structure; and (ii) to analyze the relationships among the variation in fine-genetic structure, inbreeding avoidance, season-dependent mating strategies and individual dispersal. Using both individual- and population-level analyses, we found that the majority of Brandt's vole groups consisted of close relatives. However, both group-specific FISs, an inbreeding coefficient that expresses the expected percentage rate of homozygosity arising from a given breeding system, and relatedness of mates showed no sign of inbreeding. Using group pedigrees and paternity analysis, we show that the mating system of Brandt's voles consists of a type of polygyny for males and extra-group polyandry for females, which may decrease inbreeding by increasing the frequency of mating among distantly-related individuals. The consistent variation in within-group relatedness, among-group relatedness and fine-scale genetic structures was mostly due to dispersal, which primarily occurred during the breeding season. Biologically relevant variation in the fine-scale genetic structure suggests that dispersal during the mating season may be a strategy to avoid inbreeding and drive the polygynous and extra-group polyandrous mating system of this species.
Project description:The rate of self-fertilization (that is, selfing) is a key evolutionary parameter in hermaphroditic species, yet obtaining accurate estimates of selfing rates in natural populations can be technically challenging. Most published estimates are derived from population-level heterozygote deficiency (that is, FIS) or identity disequilibria (for example, the software RMES (robust multilocus estimate of selfing)). These indirect methods can be applied to population genetic survey data, whereas direct methods using progeny arrays require much larger data sets that are often difficult to collect in natural populations or even require captive breeding. Unfortunately, indirect methods rely on assumptions that can be problematic, such as negating biparental inbreeding, inbreeding disequilibrium and (for FIS) the presence of null alleles. The performance of indirect estimates against progeny-array estimates is still largely unknown. Here we used both direct progeny-array and indirect population-level methods to estimate the selfing rate in a single natural population of the simultaneously hermaphroditic freshwater snail Radix balthica throughout its reproductive lifespan using 10 highly polymorphic microsatellites. We found that even though progeny arrays (n=1034 field-collected embryos from 60 families) did not reveal a single selfed embryo, FIS-based selfing rates (n=316 adults) were significantly positive in all 6 sequential population samples. Including a locus with a high frequency of null alleles further biased FIS-based estimates. Conversely, RMES-based estimates were very similar to progeny-array estimates and proved insensitive to null alleles. The assumptions made by RMES were thus either met or irrelevant in this particular population, making RMES a valid, cost-efficient alternative to progeny arrays.
Project description:Most initially perfect flowers of Toona ciliata Roem subsequently develop into functionally unisexual flowers and their relative positions in the same inflorescence could enhance the outcrossing system in this species. Here we investigated the mating system of this species. We used eight nuclear microsatellite markers and investigated the progeny of 125 mother trees from six populations naturally distributed in South China, with sample sizes ranging from 64 to 300 seeds. The multilocus outcrossing rate was 0.970?±?0.063, and the single locus outcrossing rate was 0.859?±?0.106, indicating the pattern of predominant outcrossing. Selfing was present in one population, but biparental inbreeding occurred in five populations. Inbreeding was absent in maternal parents, and correlations of selfing among families or among loci were generally insignificant. Positive correlation of paternity at multiple loci was significant in four populations, but was not consistent with the results at single loci. Population substructure occurred in male similarity between outcrosses only in one population. Population genetic differentaitaion was significant (Fst?=?34.5%) and the effects of isolation-by-distance at the eight loci were significant among the six populations. These results provide evidence that self-comptability and inbreeding naturally occur in T. ciliata and indicate that inbreeding avoidance is necessary during genetic improvement and breeding of this endangered tree species.
Project description:Many self-incompatible plant species exist in continuous populations in which individuals disperse locally. Local dispersal of pollen and seeds facilitates inbreeding because pollen pools are likely to contain relatives. Self-incompatibility promotes outbreeding because relatives are likely to carry incompatible alleles. Therefore, populations can experience an antagonism between these forces. In this study, a novel computational model is used to explore the effects of this antagonism on gene flow, allelic diversity, neighbourhood sizes, and identity by descent. I confirm that this antagonism is sensitive to dispersal levels and linkage. However, the results suggest that there is little to no difference between the effects of gametophytic and sporophytic self-incompatibility systems (GSI and SSI) on unlinked loci. More importantly, both GSI and SSI affect unlinked loci in a manner similar to obligate outcrossing without mating types. This suggests that the primary evolutionary impact of self-incompatibility systems may be to prevent selfing, and prevention of biparental inbreeding might be a beneficial side-effect.
Project description:We document an extreme example of reproductive trait evolution that affects population genetic structure in sister species of Parvulastra cushion stars from Australia. Self-fertilization by hermaphroditic adults and brood protection of benthic larvae causes strong inbreeding and range-wide genetic poverty. Most samples were fixed for a single allele at nearly all nuclear loci; heterozygotes were extremely rare (0.18%); mitochondrial DNA sequences were more variable, but few populations shared haplotypes in common. Isolation-with-migration models suggest that these patterns are caused by population bottlenecks (relative to ancestral population size) and low gene flow. Loss of genetic diversity and low potential for dispersal between high-intertidal habitats may have dire consequences for extinction risk and potential for future adaptive evolution in response to climate and other selective agents.